(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Journal of ethnobiology."

JOURNAL 



«?)< 



,< 







%y 




ETHNOBIOLOGY 



Reconstructing Plateau Socioeconomies 
from Archaeological Data -Lepofsky etai. 



Samburu Pastoralist Medicine 
and Healing Fratkin 



Non-Domesticated Foods in Thai 

Markets -Moreno-Black etai 



"Hallucinogenic" Ant Ingestion 
in Native California Groark 







Pogonomyrmex californicus 



JOURNAL STAFF 

EDITOR: Eugene S. Hunn, Department of Anthropology, Box 353100, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 

98195-3100 (hunn@u.washington.edu) 
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Jennifer Sepez, Department of Anthropology, Box 353100, University of Washington, 

Seattle, WA 98195-3100 (jsepez@u.washington.edu) 
ASSOCIATE EDITOR (Spanish): Alejandro de Avila B., Department of Anthropology, University of California, 

Berkeley, CA 94720 (deavila@qal.berkeley.edu) 
NEWS & COMMENTS EDITOR: Gary J. Martin, 94 Blvd. Flandrin, 75116, Paris, FRANCE. Fax: 33/1/45533001 

(100427.1260@compuserve.com) 
BOOK REVIEW EDITORS: Nancy J. Turner and Sandra Peacock, Environmental Studies Program, P.O. Box 

1700, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2 CANADA (njturner@sol.uvic.ca) 



SOCIETY OFFICERS 

PRESIDENT: Catherine S. Fowler, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 
PRESIDENT-ELECT: Nancy J. Turner, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, CANADA 
SECRETARY/TREASURER: Gayle J. Fritz, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 
CONFERENCE COORDINATOR: Mollie S. Toll, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES 

Karen R. Adams, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez, CO 
Suzanne K. Fish, Arizona State Museum, Tucson, AZ 
Gail Wagner, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 

Ex officio 

Past presidents: Steven A. Weber, Amadeo M. Rea, Elizabeth S. Wing, Paul Minnis, and Cecil Brown. Permanent 

board member Steven D. Emslie. The editor, president, president-elect, secretary /treasurer, and 



conference coordinator. 



EDITORIAL BOARD 



Karen R. Adams, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez, CO: paleoethnobotany. 
Eugene N. Anderson, University of California, Riverside, CA: ethnobotany, China, Maya. 
Scott Atran, CNRS, Paris, FRANCE: ethnobiological classification, cognition, history of science, Maya. 
Brent Berlin, University of Georgia, Athens, GA: ethnobiological classification, medical ethnobotany, Maya. 
Robert A. Bye, Jr., Jardin Botanico, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, D.F, MEXICO: ethno- 
botany, Mexico. 
H. Sorayya Carr, El Cerrito, California: zooarchaeology. 



Gayle J. Fritz, Washington University, St. Louis, MO: paleoethnobotany. 
David R. Harris, University College, London, ENGLAND: ethnoecology, 



Pacifi 



oology, 



Timothy Johns, Macdonald College of McGill University, Quebec, CANADA: chemical ecology, ethnobotany, East 



Afi 



^ 



Brien A. Meilleur, Center for Plant Conservation, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO: ethnoecology, plant 



conservation, ethnobotanical gardens. 



logy 



« 



Darrell A. Posey, Oxford Centre for the Environment, Ethics, and Society, Oxford University, Oxford, ENGLAND: 

natural resource management, ethnoecology, tropical cultural ecolog}/. 
Amadeo M. Rea, San Diego, CA: cultural ecology, zooarchaeology, ethnotaxonomics. 
Elizabeth J. Reitz, University of Georgia, Athens, GA: zooarchaeology. 
Mollie S. Toll, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM: prehistoric and historic ethnobiology. 

The Journal of Ethnobiology is published semi-annually. Manuscripts for publication, information for the "News and 
Comments" and book review sections should be sent to the appropriate editors as listed on the inside back cover of 

this issue. 



© Society of Ethnobiology 

ISSN 0278-0771 

FRONT COVER The new Journal of Ethnobiology cover will feature a figure or photograph from one of the articles in that issue. The 
former cover piece will remain as the journal's logo. It represents a split-twig figurine, made of squawbush (Rhus trilobata) or willow 
(Salix). Split-twig figurines appeared as a cultural trait in the American Southwest about 2000 B.C. among Archaic hunting and gathering 
populations in the Grand Canyon area of Arizona. They have also been found in Utah, Nevada, and California, and are thought to have 
had some magical /religious significance concerning hunting practices. For more information on these figurines see an American 
Antiquity article by Alan R. Schroedl (1977, Vol. 42(2):254-265). COVER ILLUSTRATION: Pogonomyrmex californicus, the venomous 
California harvester ant, ingested live by indigenous groups in southern and southcentral California to induce vision-producing altered 
states of consciousness. 



Advertising Information 



Journal of Ethnobiology 



published by the Society of Ethnobiology 



Mailing Instructions: All initial advertising contracts and correspondence should be sent to 



Secretary / Treasurer 
Society of Ethnobiology 

Gayle J. Fritz 
Department of Anthropology 

Campus Box 1114 

Washington University 

St. Louis, MO 63130-4899 

Phone: (314) 935-8588 

Fax: (314) 935-8535 

E-mail: gfritz@artsci.wustl.edu 



and 



Editor, Journal of Ethnobiology 

Eugene S. Hunn 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Washington 

Box 353100 

Seattle, WA 98195-3100 

Phone: (206) 543-6825 

Fax: (206) 543-3285 

E-mail: hunn@u.washington.edu 



MISSOURI BOTANICAL 



CONTENTS 



AUG 2 3 1996 



ETHNOBIOTICA GARDEN U . BRAfiy v 



AUTHOR PROFILES vi 



RITUAL AND THERAPEUTIC USE OF "HALLUCINOGENIC" 
HARVESTER ANTS (POGONOMYRMEX) IN NATIVE SOUTH 
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA 

Kevin P. Groark 



1 



RECONSTRUCTING PREHISTORIC SOCIOECONOMIES FROM 
PALEOETHNOBOTANICAL AND ZOOARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA: AN 

EXAMPLE FROM THE BRITISH COLUMBIA PLATEAU 

Dana Lepofsky, Karla Kusmer, Brian Hayden, and Kenneth P. Lertzman 31 



TRADITIONAL MEDICINE AND CONCEPTS OF HEALING AMONG 
SAMBURU PASTORALISTS OF KENYA 

Elliot Fratkin 



63 



NON-DOMESTICATED FOOD RESOURCES IN THE MARKETPLACE 
AND MARKETING SYSTEM OF NORTHEASTERN THAILAND 

Geraldine Moreno-Black, Watana Akanan, Prapimporn Somnasang, Sompong 
Thamathawan , and Paul Brozvosky 99 



NEWS AND COMMENTS 118 



GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS 124 



BOOK REVIEWS 



Histoire Illustree du Caoutchouc, by J.B. Serier, A. Diez and A. Van Dyck 
Richard Evans Schultes 29 



The Diversity and Evolution of Plants, by Lorentz C. Pearson 
Richard Evans Schultes 



30 



Plant Intoxicants. A Classic Text on the Use of Mind- Altering Plants, by Baron 

Ernst von Bibra 

Richard Evans Schultes 97 



La Guia de Incafo de las Plantas Utiles y Venenosas de la 

Peninsula Iberica y Baleares (Excluidas Medicinales), by Diego Rivera Nunez 

and Concepcion Obon 

Richard Evans Schultes 98 






Eat Not This Flesh: Food Avoidance from Prehistory to the 

Present, by Frederick J. Simoons 

E.N. Anderson 



128 



Journal of 
Ethnobiology 



VOLUME 16, NUMBER 1 



SUMMER 1996 



Advertising Information 



Journal of Ethnobiology 



published by the Society of Ethnobiology 



Mailing Instructions: All initial advertising contracts and correspondence should be sent to: 



Secretary /Treasurer 
Society of Ethnobiology 

Gayle J. Fritz 
Department of Anthropology 

Campus Box 1114 

Washington University 

St. Louis, MO 63130-4899 

Phone: (314) 935-8588 

Fax: (314) 935-8535 

E-mail: gfritz@artsci.wustl.edu 



Insertion orders and camera ready copy should be sent to 



Editor, Journal of Ethnobiology 

Eugene S. Hunn 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Washington 

Box 353100 

Seattle, WA 98195-3100 

Phone: (206) 543-6825 

Fax: (206) 543-3285 

E-mail: hunn@u. washington.edu 



MISSOURI BOTANICAL 



CONTENTS 



AUG 2 3 1996 



ETHNOBIOTICA GARDEN ueRARV 



v 



AUTHOR PROFILES vi 



RITUAL AND THERAPEUTIC USE OF "HALLUCINOGENIC 
HARVESTER ANTS (POGONOMYRMEX) IN NATIVE SOUTH 
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA 

Kevin P. Groark 



1 



RECONSTRUCTING PREHISTORIC SOCIOECONOMIES FROM 
PALEOETHNOBOTANICAL AND ZOOARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA: AN 
EXAMPLE FROM THE BRITISH COLUMBIA PLATEAU 

Dana Lepofsky, Karla Kusmer, Brian Hayden, and Kenneth P. Lertzman 31 



TRADITIONAL MEDICINE AND CONCEPTS OF HEALING AMONG 
SAMBURU PASTORALISTS OF KENYA 

Elliot Fratkin 



63 



NON-DOMESTICATED FOOD RESOURCES IN THE MARKETPLACE 
AND MARKETING SYSTEM OF NORTHEASTERN THAILAND 

Geraldine Moreno-Black, Watana Akanan, Prapimporn Somnasang, Sompong 
Thamathawan , and Paul Brozvosky 99 



NEWS AND COMMENTS 118 



GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS 124 



BOOK REVIEWS 



Histoire Illustree du Caoutchouc, by J.B. Serier, A. Diez and A. Van Dyck 
Richard Evans Schultes 29 



The Diversity and Evolution of Plants, by Lorentz C. Pearson 
Richard Evans Schultes 



30 



Plant Intoxicants. A Classic Text on the Use of Mind- Altering Plants, by Baron 

Ernst von Bibra 

Richard Evans Schultes 97 



La Guia de Incafo de las Plantas Utiles y Venenosas de la 

Peninsula Iberica y Baleares (Excluidas Medicinales), by Diego Rivera Nunez 

and Concepcion Obon 

Richard Evans Schultes 98 



Eat Not This Flesh: Food Avoidance from Prehistory to the 

Present, by Frederick J. Simoons 

E.N. Anderson 



128 



Earth's Insights: A Multicultural Survey of Ecological 
Ethics from the Mediterranean Basin to the Australian 
Outback, by J. Baird Callicott 
E.N. Anderson 



130 



Progress in Old World Palaeoethnobotany: A Retrospective View 
on the Occasion of 20 Years of the International Work Group 
for Palaeoethnobotany, edited by Willem van Zeist, Krystyna 
Wasylikowa, and Karl-Ernst Behre 
Yannis Hamilakis 



131 



Phytolith Systematics: Emerging Issues, edited by George 
Rapp, Jr. and Susan Mulholland 

Diego Rivera-Nunez and Concepcion Obon 



134 



Ethnobotany of the California Indians, Volume 1: A Bibliography and Index, 
by Beatrice M. Beck; Volume 2: Aboriginal Uses of California Indigenous 
Plants, by Sandra S. Strike 
Conrad Richter 135 



Forestry and Food Security, by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the 
United Nations 

Richard Evans Schultes 137 



Forest, Trees and Food, by R. Clarke 
Richard Evans Schultes 



137 



Stressed Ecosystems and Sustainable Agriculture, edited by S.M. Virmani, J.C. 

Katyal, H. Eswaran, and LP. Abrol 

Richard Evans Schultes 138 



Eating on the Wild Side, edited by Nina L. Etkin 
Richard Evans Schultes 



139 



Murder, Magic and Medicine, by John Mann 
Richard Evans Schultes 



140 



Ethnobotany : A Methods Manual, by Gary J. Martin; Techniques and Methods 

of Ethnobotany, by David R. Given and Warwick Harris 

Timothy Johns 140 

Amazonian Indians From Prehistory to the Present: Anthropological 

Perspectives, edited by Anna Roosevelt 

Bradley C. Bennett 142 



ETHNOBIOTICA 



Time for some changes. The "new look" involves a brighter cover, glossy white 
with a touch of color, the traditional logo (see inside our front cover for the story 
behind it) is reduced to an icon freeing space to highlight the current contents, 
including a selected graphic image, a rather threatening and out-sized ant. See 
Groark's lead article for the ethnographic details. It's a fascinating story. Another 
new feature: a photo and bio section highlighting the authors published in the 
current issue. I'm trying to shake a bit of the dust off the Journal. 

Volume 16 marks the mid-point of our second decade. I had hoped to have an 
index included but that must wait for the next issue. This index will bring us up to 
date since the last, which appeared in Volume 5, Number 2. I want to thank my 
editorial assistant, Jennifer Sepez for an excellent job (and the University of Wash- 
ington for chipping in toward her wages). Jennifer will prepare the index on top of 
handling correspondence and general editorial housekeeping. 

We have revised the "Guidelines for Authors," last printed in Volume 10, 
Number 1, in the era before computers and electronic mail had become common- 
place. Note the new rules: send your manuscripts on diskette as well as hard copy. 
This will facilitate the review process, as I will be able to circulate drafts via e-mail 
in many cases. 

The editorial board has been expanded and strengthened to better represent 
the range and complexity of topics we treat here. I would like to welcome Scott 
Atran, Nina Etkin, Chris Healey, Brien Meilleur, and Gary Nabhan to the board. 
I hope they will help me to speed the review process and assure the quality of the 
articles we publish. 

Once again our contents span the breadth of ethnobiology: hallucinogenic ants 
ingested by California Indians in a rite of passage; an analysis of macrobotanical 
remains from a prehistoric village in the Fraser Canyon of British Columbia; a 
comprehensive review of the medicinal ethnobotany of the Samburu, East African 
pastoralists; and a report on the role of wild plant and animal resources in north- 
eastern Thai markets. "Notes and Comments" is back and Gary Martin, feature 
editor, urges you to consider contributing some newsworthy item or provocative 



comment. 



Yours, 



. ^ 






From A. Miller, The Wall Paintings of Teotihuacdn (1973). 
Drawing by Felipe Davalos G. 



AUTHORS IN THIS ISSUE 




ELLIOT FRATKIN 

Elliot Fratkin teaches anthropology at Smith College. He 
has written extensively about East African pastoralist 
peoples and is the author of Surviving Drought and Develop- 
ment: Ariaal Rendille Pastoralists of Kenya (Westview Press) 
and co-editor of African Pastoralist Systems (Lynne Rienner 
Press). Dr. Fratkin is currently researching health and nu- 
trition effects of pastoral sedentarization with his physi- 
cian partner Martha Nathan. 




KEVIN P. GROARK 

Kevin Groark is a doctoral candidate in sociocultural an- 



ty 



M 



from UCLA in 1996. His research interests focus on 
Mesoamerican and Amazonian ethnography, particularly 
medical ethnobotany and ethnomedicine. The present ar- 
ticle derives from his ongoing research with J. P. 
Harrington's Kitanemuk fieldnotes, and is part of a book- 
length monograph on the ethnography of the Kitanemuk 
Indians of south-central California. 




DANA LEPOFSKY, KARLA D. KUSMER, BRIAN 
HAYDEN, and KENNETH P. LERTZMAN 

Dana Lepofsky is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology at 
Simon Fraser University. Her research in the Pacific North- 
west and Polynesia examines the relationships of humans 
to their environments and the social relations of food pro- 
duction. Karla Kusmer is a consulting archaeologist spe- 
cializing in zooarchaeology of the Pacific Northwest. Brian 



ty 



of Archaeology 



historic social and economic organization on the Plateau. 
Ken Lertzman is an Assistant Professor in the School of 



University. 



Management 



conservation 




GERALDINE MORENO-BLACK, WATANA AKANAN, 
PRAPIMPORN SOMNASANG, SOMPONG 
THAMATHAWAN, AND PAUL BROZVOSKY 
Geraldine Moreno-Black, Associate Professor of Anthro- 
pology of the University of Oregon, researches human nu- 
trition and human ecology in Southeast Asia and Latin 
America. Her work in Thailand focused on the use of non- 
domesticated plants and animals in the diet and as a source 
of income. Her interests also include Community Supported 
Agriculture (CSA) as a social movement involving envi- 
ronmental activism and conservation; women's issues in 
nutrition and health, Latina health issues, and Pacific-Rim 
cuisine. Prapimporn Somnasang, Associate Professor in the 
department of Community Medicine at Khon Kaen Uni- 
versity, is a nutritionist currently working on her doctorate 
in nutritional anthropology. She has done research on mi- 
cronutrients, nutritional status of women and children in 
northeastern Thailand and the consumption of wild food. 
She is the recipient of the 1994 Margaret Macnamara Award. 
Watana Akanan (not pictured), at the time of the project, 
was on the faculty of the Mathayom Wapi Pathum School. 
Paul Brozvovsky (not pictured), Assistant Director of In- 
stitutional Research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and 
State University, specializes in research design and analy- 
sis. Sompong Thamathawan (not pictured), Associate Pro- 
fessor in the School of Biology, Institute of Science at 
Suranaree University of Technology in Nakornajasima, 
Thailand is a systematic Botanist. 



Journal of Ethnobiology 



Summer 



// 



RITUAL AND THERAPEUTIC USE OF 
HALLUCINOGENIC" HARVESTER ANTS 

(POGONOMYRMEX) IN NATIVE 
SOUTH-CENTRAL CALIFORNIA 



KEVIN P. GROARK 

Department of Anthropology 
University of California, Los Angeles 

Los Angeles, CA 90024 

ABSTRACT. — Red harvester ants of the genus Pogonomyrmex played a central role 
as vision-inducing agents in the religious and medical systems of many indig- 
enous groups in southern and south-central California. The ants were ingested 
alive in massive quantities in order to induce prolonged catatonic states, during 
which hallucinogenic visions were reported to manifest. They also played an im- 
portant role in both curative and preventative medicine, treating a diverse body 
of natural and supernatural ailments. In this article I present an ethnographic and 
toxicological overview of the ritual and therapeutic use of red ants, bringing to- 
gether both published and unpublished accounts in an attempt to reconstruct this 
poorly-known facet of indigenous California culture. The data presented in this 
paper strongly suggest that, through either direct or indirect action on the central 
nervous system, massive quantities of Pogonomyrmex venom are capable of pro- 
ducing highly altered metabolic states during which hallucinatory visions are apt 
to manifest. This topic is of considerable interest, as it is the first well-documented 
ethnographic example of an hallucinogenic agent of insect origin. 

RESUMEN. — Las hormigas granivoras rojas del genero Pogonomyrmex jugaron 
un papel central como agentes para inducir visiones en los sistemas religiosos y 
medicos de varios grupos indigenas en el sur y centro-sur de California. Las 
hormigas vivas eran ingeridas en cantidades masivas para inducir estados 
catatonicos prolongados, durante los cuales se reportaba manifestarse visiones 
alucinogenas. Jugaban tambien un papel importante en la medicina curativa y 
preventiva, empleandose en el tratamiento de diversas aflicciones naturales y 
sobrernaturales. En este articulo presento una resena etnografica y toxicologica 
del uso ritual y terapeutico de las hormigas rojas, reuniendo informes publicados 
e ineditos en un intento de reconstruir esta faceta poco conocida de la cultura 
indigena de California. Los datos presentados en este trabajo sugieren fuertemente 
que las cantidades masivas de veneno de Pogonomyrmex son capaces de producir, 
por medio de su efecto directo o indirecto sobre el sistema nervioso central, estados 
metabolicos altamente alterados durante los cuales tienden a manifestarse visiones 
alucinatorias. Este topico es de interes considerable, puesto que es el primer 
ejemplo etnografico bien documentado de un agente alucinogeno derivado de un 
insecto. 



2 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



RESUME. — Les fourmis moissonneuses rousses du genre Pogonomyrmex ont joue 
un tres grand role en tant qu'agents hallucinatoires dans la vie religieuse et la 
medecine de plusieurs groupes autochtones du Sud et du centre-Sud de la 
Californie. Les fourmis etaient ingerees vivantes en quantite considerable afin de 
provoquer des etats prolonges de catatonie durant lesquels des visions 
hallucinatoires se seraient produites. Elles ont aussi joue un role dans les 
traitements curatifs et preventifs visant a soigner un ensemble de maux d'origine 
naturelle et surnaturelle. Dans cet article, je presente une vue d'ensemble 
ethnographique et toxicologique des usages rituels et therapeutiques des fourmis 
rousses a partir de diverses descriptions, publiees et non publiees, dans une ten- 



connu 



Californie. Les donnees 



une action directe ou indirecte sur le systeme nerveux central, des doses massives 
de venin de Pogonomyrmex peuvent provoquer de tres grands changements 
metaboliques creant des etats propices a la production de visions hallucinatoires. 
L'interet de ce sujet est considerable car il s'agit la du premier exemple 
ethnographique bien documente d'un agent hallucinatoire qui provient d'un 
insecte. 



INTRODUCTION 



Dosis solafacit venerium (Only the dose makes the poison) 

— Paracelsus, 1564 

The ethnographic literature on southern California contains many references 
to the central importance of hallucinogenic plants in curing, shamanism, and the 
acquisition of supernatural power. Toloache (Datura wrightii Regel) and tobacco 
(Nicotiana attenuata Torr., N. bigelovii (Torr.) Wats) have received the most attention 
in this regard, and are considered to have been the primary vehicles for establish- 
ing personal contact with the supernatural. Over the last few decades, several 
brief yet provocative mentions have been made regarding the ritual and medici- 
nal use of "hallucinogenic" red ants in south-central California, but to date little 
has been written on the subject (cf . Blackburn 1976; Sutton 1988; Walker and Hudson 

1993). 

California anthropologists first became aware of the significance of red ants in 
the religious /visionary complex of south-central California with the publication 
of a brief report entitled, A Query Regarding the Possible Hallucinogenic Effects of Ant 
Ingestion in South-Central California (Blackburn 1976). In this article, a short account 
of Kitanemuk ant eating culled from the unpublished fieldnotes of John Peabody 
Harrington was presented along with a published Tubatulabal account, followed 
by a cursory examination of possible biochemical bases of psychoactivity. Few 
conclusions were reached, and even today the question of the hallucinogenic ef- 
fects of red ant ingestion remains largely unexamined. 

The author's recent analysis of John Peabody Harrington's 1916-1917 "Fort 
Tejon" Kitanemuk fieldnotes has brought to light the most detailed ethnographic 
account of medicinal and ritual red ant ingestion known. The discovery of this 
previously unpublished account prompted a review of the ethnographic litera- 



Summer 1 996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 3 



ture 



tradition of "myrmecopha 



shedding more 



In this article I present an overview of the ritual and therapeutic use of red 
. in south-central California, bringing together both published and unpublished 
>unts in an attempt to reconstruct this poorly-known facet of indigenous Cali- 



indigeno 



intoxicant, as a medicine 



ethnograph 



em 
t in 



IDENTIFICATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND BIOCHEMISTRY 



The taxonomic status of the red ant species used in aboriginal California is 
uncertain. All ethnographic accounts describe them merely as 'Targe red ants" — 
the sole exception being a Tubatulabal account which refers to "yellow ants" 
(Voegelin 1938:60). The accounts uniformly emphasize their large size, the fact 
that they build mounded nests, and the excruciating pain of their sting. It has been 
suggested by several researchers that the species in question may have been the 
California harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex californicus (Hudson 1979:56; Walker and 
Hudson 1993:59), or the yellow honey ant, Myrmecocystus testaceus (Blackburn 
1976:80). Unfortunately, no voucher specimens were collected when the ethno- 
graphic accounts were recorded, so the precise taxonomic identity of the ant spe- 
cies must therefore remain tentative. However, the taxonomic and toxicological 
literature strongly supports the assertion that a Pogonomyrmex species was indeed 
the red ant referred to in the ethnographic accounts. Of all the ant genera present 
in California and the Great Basin, Pogonomyrmex is distinguished by the large size, 
exceptionally painful sting, and highly biodynamic venom of its representative 
species. 

Red harvester ants are common throughout south-central California and the 
Great Basin. While Pogonomyrmex californicus (Buckley), the California harvester 
ant, is the most common and conspicuous species, P. subdentatus Mayr, P. salinus 
Olsen, P. brevispinosus Cole, P. subnitidus Emery, and P. rugosus Emery also occur 
throughout the region (Cole 1968; J. O. Schmidt and R. Snelling, personal commu- 
nications 1995). 1 In keeping with the ethnographic descriptions, these ants are 
large — the workers of most species average about 5-7 mm in length, while those of 
P. rugosus are larger in size, averaging about 10 mm (Essig 1958:861-862). Many 
Harvester ant species build conspicuous mounds (10 to 30 cm high) around the 
entrance to their nests, and live in colonies numbering in the thousands. 
Pogonomyrmex stings are exceptionally intense and piercing — often maintaining 
this high level for up to several hours— and have been characterized as approxi- 
mating "ripping muscles or tendons 7 ' or "turning a screw in the flesh around the 
sting site" (Schmidt 1986:487). The venom is also reported to cause a nervous, 
chilling sensation to sweep upward from the sting site (Schmidt 1986:488). 



4 



GROARK 



Vol. 16, No.l 




FIGURE 1. 

line drawing by J 



life 



The genus Pogonomyrmex belongs to the subfamily Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: 
Formicidae, Myrmicinae), along with other strongly biochemically active genera, 
including Aphaenogaster and Myrmica. Myrmicinae is the most derived subfamily 
of stinging ants, characterized by highly complex and potent venoms (Schmidt 
1986:430). In fact, Pogonomyrmex maricopa possesses the most toxic insect venom 
recorded to date — five stings can kill a two pound mammal (J. O. Schmidt, per- 
sonal communications 1995). Unfortunately, the chemistry of ant venoms is still 
poorly understood, largely due to the difficulties of collecting the significant quan- 
tities of highly purified venom needed for toxicological analysis. However, one 
thing has become clear over the past few years — the ant's venom gland represents 
the pinnacle of venom development among the social insects. It is capable of syn- 
thesizing extremely complex and potent chemical compounds, many of which are 
highly pharmacologically active, and were previously thought to occur only in 
higher plant taxa (Schmidt and Blum 1978a; Wheeler et al. 1981; Schmidt 1986). 

The morphological, behavioral, and biochemical characteristics of the genus 
strongly suggest that the red ant species reported ethnographically was a 
Pogonomyrmex species — probably P. californicus (see Figure 1). No other genus 
matches the ethnographic descriptions as closely as Pogonomyrmex in terms of size, 
mound characteristics, and the potency of the sting. Most importantly, it appears 
that Pogonomyrmex is the only ant genus toxic enough to induce the altered physi- 
ological states described in the ethnographic record — P. subnitidus, the least toxic 
Pogonomyrmex species in California, is 7 times more lethal than Manica bradleyi, the 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 5 



next most toxic stinging ant (and P. californicus is almost 15 times 
1 for comparison of mammalian lethality). The implications ol 
discussed in a later section. 



TABLE 1. — Venom quantity, lethality, lethal capacity, and number of stings for an 

LD 50 /kg for Pogonomyrmex harvester ants compared to other California stinging 
ant genera. 



Species ug LD 50 iv Lethal Capacity # stings 

venom/ (mg/kg) (g mammal/sting) for 

LD 50 /k g 



ant 



P. maricopa 27 .13 208 4.8 

P. rugosus 31 .80 39 26 

P. californicus 21 .60 35 29 

P. brevispinosus 17 .70 24 41 

P montanus 14 .60 23 43 

P. subdentatus 22 1.1 20 50 

P subnitidus 18 1.1 16 61 

Manica bradleyi 14 6 2.3 430 

Odontomachus sp. 65 -30 2.2 460 

Pseudomyrmex gracilis 16 8 2 500 



/ J. O. Schmidt, unpublished data 



RED ANTS IN THE ETHNOGRAPHIC RECORD 



Along with toloache (Datura wrightii) and tobacco (Nicotiana spp.), red ants com 
pleted the sacred trinity of powerful ritual medicines used in native California 
possessing both therapeutic and mind-altering properties. Despite their signifi 



ritual or medicinal 



in 



cussed only briefly — if at all — in most recent syntheses of California Indian sh 
manism and ethnomedicine (cf . Bean 1975, 1992a,b; Bean and Vane 1978; Applega 
1978; Walker and Hudson 1993). One reason for the paucity of data is that many < 
the societies which used red ants were extinct or no longer fully functioning b 
the time ethnographers arrived in the first quarter of this century This fact alor 
makes any precise delineation of the use of red ants exceedingly difficult. 

Brief mentions of red ant swallowing appear irregularly in the ethnograph 



nfusing, or incom 



most complete descriptions come from 



fieldnotes of the late John Peabody Harrington, a prolific ethnographer and giftec 
linguist from the Bureau of American Ethnology who conducted salvage ethno 



in Southern California 



„ w/ jate several individuals who had them- 
selves taken red ants, and were therefore able to provide detailed first-hand ac- 
counts of their experiences. 

These ethnographic accounts indicate that large quantities of live red ants were 



6 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



swallowed in order to induce visions and thereby acquire supernatural power in 
the form of a "dream helper." They were also administered both internally and 
externally in the treatment of particular physical ailments, such as rheumatism, 
heavy colds, paralysis, body pain, stomach aches, and various gynecological dis- 
orders. For purposes of clarity, I have chosen to treat the two facets of use sepa- 
rately, structuring each discussion around representative ethnographic accounts. 2 



RITUAL SWALLOWING OF RED ANTS 



The use of red ants as a ritual intoxicant has a far more limited distribution 
than their use in medicinal contexts. Of the 17 indigenous southern and south- 
central California ethnic groups known to have utilized red ants medicinally, 7 
were reported to swallow them in order to induce visions and acquire supernatu- 
ral power in the form of dream helpers. 

The ritual use of red ants appears to have been strongest among the Shoshonean 
groups along the southeastern edge of the south-central area — the Kitanemuk 
(Harrington 1986b:rl.98, frs.449-450), Kawaiisu (Zigmond 1977:62, 1986:405), 
Tubatulabal (Voegelin 1938:5, 46, 67-68), and the various Hokan-speaking Chumash 
groups, particularly the Interior Chumash (Harrington 1986b:rl.98, frs.608-609, 648- 
652). Some of the neighboring Southern Valley Yokuts (particularly the Yawelmani) 
and Southern and Central Foothill Yokuts (Wikchamni, Yawdanchi, Bokninwad, 
Yokod, and Palewyami) also swallowed ants in order to gain dream helpers and 
shamanic power (Harrington 1986a:rl.94, fr.387; Driver 1937:99), but the practice 
among these latter groups appears in a somewhat attenuated form and was likely 
spread to them by the core groups. The Northern Miwok are also reported to have 
ingested ants ''for vision or power" (Aginsky 1943:440). Although the Miwok lived 
far to the north, they appear to have shared in many of the cosmological beliefs 
and religious practices typical of the south-central region (Levy 1978:412). 

The presence of this practice among groups to the south is less well estab- 
lished. It is based largely on the testimony of one of J. P. Harrington's Kitanemuk 
consultants, who indicated that ritual ant swallowing was present among groups 
to the southeast — probably the Gabrielino and Luiseno-Juaneno — and was inte- 
grated into the protohistoric Chingichngish Cult — "that religion [in which] you 
take ants or toloache and they counsel you and teach you everything" (Harrington 
1986b:rl.98, fr.443). If visionary ant swallowing did indeed form part of the ritual 
repertoire of the Chingichngish Cult, it seems odd that the practice is not men- 
tioned in the ethnographic accounts of the Gabrielino (Harrington 1933; Johnston 
1962) or the Luiseno-Juaneno (Du Bois 1908; Sparkman 1908). 

Exactly where this tradition originated is uncertain. All extant ethnographic 
accounts were collected from the south-central and coastal core groups mentioned 
above, among whom ritual ant swallowing was highly elaborated. This distribu- 
tion suggest that these practices were developed among Shoshonean speakers liv- 
ing in and around the Tehachapi Mountains and southern Sierra Nevada, then 
passed on to interior Chumash speakers to the west, and then to various Yokuts 
groups in the southern half of the San Joaquin Valley. Interestingly, the distribu- 
tion of this tradition is largely coextensive with the Toloache-Dream Helper Com- 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 7 



plex, a generalized, egalitarian religion that stressed individual contact with the 



more dream helpers throu 



trance and the use of the hallucinogenic p] 
Applegate 1975, 1978; Bean and Vane 1978). 



ethnographic literature has revealed strikine commonalities 



some 



com 



followin 



Chumash (or possibly Kitanemuk) 



in 1916 by John P. Harrington and his wife, Carobeth. 3 This account is the most 
detailed description of ritual ant ingestion known, and appears to be representa- 
tive of patterns of use for neighboring southern and south-central groups. 

Purpose of administration. — Throughout the southern half of California, the posses- 
sion of a "dream helper" was considered to be a prerequisite for a long and healthy 
life. These dream helpers were frequently sought through a "vision quest," usu- 
ally mediated by the ingestion of the hallucinogenic plant Datura wrightii (toloache 



or jimsonweed), which induces vivid visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations. 
If the vision quest was successful, the aspirant saw an animal spirit, a personified 
natural force, or the spirit of a dead relative who then acted as a life-long spiritual 
helper and protector (Applegate 1978). 

Red ants, like Datura, were used by individuals seeking to acquire supernatu- 
ral power in the form of a dream helper. Quite apart from any "virtues" or specific 
skills they might confer, dream helpers (and the power they embody) were criti- 
cally important in leading a safe, healthy, and prosperous life. Possession of a dream 
helper represented a direct connection with supernatural power — a source of se- 
curity in an otherwise unpredictable environment. One of J. P. Harrington's 
Kitanemuk consultants emphasized the importance of supernatural aid in the pre- 
colonial world of native California, saying, "[We] gave the boys red ants to eat. 
[We] did this to save them from getting killed... for long ago there used to be lots 
of fighting..." (Harrington 1986b:rl.98, fr.449). In a very real sense, the acquisition 
of a dream helper was viewed as a basic form of preventative medicine. 

Those men who sought shamanic power would ingest red ants or toloache re- 
peatedly over a period of months or years. If they were fortunate, they gradually 
acquired multiple or specialized dream helpers who bestowed shamanic skills 
upon them. Most native southern Californians consulted by early anthropologists 
were quite explicit about the association between red ant ingestion and the acqui- 
sition of shamanic powers, as illustrated by J. P. Harrington's Interior Chumash/ 
Kitanemuk consultant, Jose Juan Olivas: 

[These] are the ants that you take if you wish to become an hechicero [curing 
or bewitching shaman] . . . You take ants again the following summer and so 
on every summer till they tell you [that you've had] enough... They give 
you power to injure or cure people and help you to escape when in peril— 
you always have these powers if you take the ants successfully. Toloache 
also gives you the power of escaping from danger, but only 2 or 3 times, 



8 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



and pespibata [green tobacco powder] gives it only once... [Harrington 



1986b:rl.98, frs.595, 608]. 



was never made in 



-ded as potent manifestations of supernatural power. While providing 
information, Jose Juan cautioned, "If [you] are going to take red ants, 



1986b:rl.98, fr.489). 



promise. You can't fool this animal. The ant knows 
)t fulfill [your promise], you will die soon" (Harrin 



Administration and the "Coming of the Animals" .—The ritual ingestion of red ants, 
whether aimed at establishing a relationship with a dream helper or gaining more 
specialized shamanistic power, was always an individual and voluntary matter. 
Unlike toloache use, it was not tied to boys' puberty ceremonies, and no change of 
social status occurred. The ants were taken anytime after puberty — usually dur- 
ing the winter months — and the experience could be repeated as often as desired. 
Since red ants were considered to be more powerful than toloache, their ritual use 
was limited to boys and men. 

An elderly post-menopausal woman or old man served as the "ant doctor," 
and was in charge of the administration. For three days prior to administration 
the aspirant (and often the ant doctor) observed a regimen of fasting and nightly 
vomiting to purify the body. Avoidance of meat, grease, blood, and salt was strin- 



dream 



diminished the likelihood 



ipernatural power, were believed to be "hostile to blood" and 



would visit harm upon individuals who had consumed flesh or come 



avoidance of "contaminating" substances — particularly blood — 



This 



may 



eeking 



menopausal women from 



The actual ingestion took place during the daytime at an isolated location, 
away from the village and fully exposed to the elements. After collecting the ants 
from a nearby anthill, the ant doctor would lay the aspirant down on his back and 
quasi force-feed him large quantities of live red ants collected on balls of moist 
eagle down. She regulated the dose by watching the boy's appearance and behav- 
ior closely— when his eyes turned red and he began to experience lassitude she 
knew that he had ingested enough (Voegelin 1938:67) . 4 The general characteristics 
of administration are exemplified in the following Interior Chumash or Kitanemuk 
account provided by Jose Juan Olivas: 

An old woman who no longer has monthlies cares for the eater in the 
hills ... an old man can give them if there is no old woman, but an old woman 

pound and prepare his food. The old woman 

and sticks it 



wets something — the down- 

into a vessel containing the ants and 4 or 5 ants cling to it and form 



the old woman 



in your mouth and you draw your breath in sharply and 
down your throat, swallowing both ants and feather. Then 
;ives you another and another and another — she goes on 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 9 



until 



many 



can stand. Every little while she pauses and asks, "Do you want more? 



tt 



and 



//\/^_ • // 



very painful burning 



me more." As you swallow you 



stand it no longer you say, "That 



// 



them 



you 



• • 



While you are sitting quietly after taking the ants, the old woman who 
gave them to you says, "Sit here quietly a little while, I am going to get 
something." You sit perfectly still with drooping shoulders and hanging 
head, arms hanging loosely at [your] sides... But she does not have to get 
anything — just says this to fool you. Then she slips up behind you and grabs 
you, or rather pokes you with both hands, on ribs at sides, just back of 
upper arms, crying out or grunting as she does so. She does this to startle 
you. It is necessary to do this because until you are startled in this way the 
ants do not bite — they are simply clinging together in balls inside of you. 
When the old woman startles you the ants all bite all at once and immedi- 
ately you fall as dead. Then she takes you and puts you in the shade so that 
you lie face down (informant at first said face-down very positively but 
later said either face-up or face-down). Then she retires some little distance 
(about 200 ft. or more) and watches you. 

If you take the ants in the morning (about 9:00 am) you will come to 
about noon. When the old woman sees that you are sitting up she comes 
and asks how you feel and you tell her "all right," and then she asks if you 
want more. If you have courage you say yes, and take more, perhaps as 
many as you did the first time, just as many as you can stand. When you 
have finished, the old woman startles you again and you fall in a faint and 
lie until sundown, when you revive. Then she asks you how you feel, and if 
you say you feel all right she knows you mean to take more tomorrow. At 
sundown she comes nearer so that she can watch you better during the 
night. The next day if you are brave you take ants in the morning and at 
noon, as on the previous day. And so on for 2, 3, or 4 days. . . The ants do not 
kill you, they give you force to go without food 5 or 6 days... [Harrington 
1986b:rl.98, frs.608-609, 648-651]. 



The focal event in all accounts of ritual red ant use is the dramatic loss o 
consciousness following ingestion. This deep, death-like sleep was characterise 
of all drug-induced visionary experiences in south-central California, and helc 
great symbolic significance. Death, dreaming, and the experiencing of supernatu 
ral visions seem to have constituted a single conceptual domain in native Califor 
nian thought, and the three experiences were sometimes glossed under a single 
term. 5 The catatonic, near-death state was essential to shamanic and visionary prac 
tice, and was understood as a sort of small death in which the aspirant was "killed 
by the supernatural agents which he sought to contact. It was during this liminal 
death-like state that supernatural visions manifested and a dream helper "chose" 



// 



10 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



the boy, conferring his virtue upon him. J. P. Harrington provides us with a de- 
tailed description of the "coming of the animals" and the powers they confer: 



If you have enough courage you take ants until the ants run out of your 
mouth as soon as they are swallowed. This gives you a lot of power if you 
can do it. When this happens the ants speak to you and tell you [that] you 
have taken enough... The ants talk to you and ask what you want — [they] 
give [you] any virtud [virtue] that you want. 

Then come the animals. . .The lion can give you virtud. Or bear. The coy- 
ote, the gavilan [sparrow-hawk]. Each can give their virtud — all of these, 
even the rattlesnake, can come and talk to you. Rattlesnake says, "they are 
going to bite you." That night the rattlesnakes come [and bite you], and 
you open your eyes and you are well. Also the [ghost] gives his virtud, which 
is that you can become invisible, yell to people who follow to kill you, from 
[the] distance [issue] challenge and disappear again. The [mountain] lion — 
very strong, bullets go aside. Gavilan — [gives you the ability to] shoot 2 
arrows [at once]. Arrows shot at you go aside. Spit on hawk claw and touch 
it to bowstring as you shoot when in a hurry. A hawk comes and circles, 
and if enemy does not kill him when he shoots at you, you are o.k. Bullets 
go aside. The coyote also [gives the ability] to shoot 2 [arrows]. The bear 
[makes bullets and arrows go] aside. The horse — wear belt of the mane 
jump on horse when in hurry and escape. The dog — dog comes and barks 
when you are in a hurry, and if [they] don't kill [the] dog you are o.k... If 
ants say you will live, you will live 100 years. They give you espiritu [spirit, 
strength, fortitude]... These are the virtudes [virtues] the ants give you 
[Harrington 1986b:rl.98, fr.649, 651-2]. 

While most of the virtues conferred by the dream helpers in this account are 
purely utilitarian, other reports indicate that they were just as likely to be highly 
specialized shamanic powers that enabled the recipient to cure, bewitch, make 
rain, or transform into an animal. Such specialized powers were often conferred 
by poisonous or dangerous creatures, such as Rattlesnake or Black Widow, who 
bit the vision seeker and transferred their power to him through the medium of 
their venom. The relationship between poison, power, and medicine will be ex- 
plored further in a later section. 

Although not mentioned in this account, the aspirant always drank hot water 
after regaining consciousness in order to induce vomiting. The regurgitated ants 
reportedly came out alive, still clinging together in little balls. It is likely that some 
form of vision interpretation took place between the ant doctor and the aspirant 
after he had recovered from this ordeal. Such a practice was reported for the 
Tubatulabal (Voegelin 1938:68) and Kitanemuk (Harrington 1986b:rl.98, fr.450), and 
was common following toloache ceremonies, in which an analysis of the aspirant's 
visions served to reinterpret idiosyncratic psychic experiences in terms of widely 
held public beliefs and local cosmology. After coming to mutual agreement on the 
significance, meaning, and success of the vision experience, the ant doctor would 
have given the boy instructions for cementing his relationship with the dream 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 1 1 



down 



offering 



Post-ingestion observances. — For a period of time 
aspirant observed a number of dietarv and be! 



indiv 



dream helper were 



corresponded with the degree and type of power sought — men seeking certain 



shamanic 



tionship 



dream helper or to cure themselves. After this period he 
emony was held to formally mark the end of the fast and to reintegrate the indi- 
vidual with his family and community: 

[You] must stay alone without speaking to anyone — [the] person who 
is taking care of you does not talk [for] 4 days. . . When you take ants for to 
cure you, you diet 12 days — when you [take them in order to] become [a] 
medicine man, one month. . . [You stay for] one month in hills, then [there is 
a] fiesta. The person who administered [the ants] tells the captain that the 
month is up, and the captain tells the payaso [ritual announcer] to cry an- 
nouncing a fiesta [for the next day]. Eater comes in from hills with his head 
covered and man pays many beadstrings to people — [the ant eater's] rela- 
tives pay this for permission [for him] to eat meat again. A ceremony is 
then held in which [the aspirant] eats a small piece of meat [the size of] last 
joint of finger. Then [he drinks] warm water — eaglefeather — vomits. That 
night he eats meat [Harrington 1986b:rl.98, fr.650]. 

Overall, the ritual use of red ants reported ethnographically exhibits great ho- 
mogeneity among culturally and linguistically distinct ethnic groups. However, 
several minor variations should be noted. The emphasis in this account on mul- 
tiple administrations over a period of several days appears to be atypical, and 
may reflect attempts to gain specialized or multiple dream helpers. Among all 
other groups the aspirant is reported to have taken the ants only once, usually in 
the morning, then lapsed into an unconscious state from which he recovered later 
the same day. In addition, Tubatulabal youths are reported to have ingested the 
ants inside of a sweathouse under the supervision of their grandfather in order to 
;ain power" (Voegelin 1938:67), while among the Kitanemuk a man who "knew 
how to pray" administered red ants to the boys either individually or in small 
groups out in the hills (Blackburn 1976:78). 



// 



THE THERAPEUTIC USE OF RED ANTS 

Reported medicinal use of red ants is more widespread than ritual use. While 
all groups that used red ants in the acquisition of dream helpers also used them as 
medicines, the majority employed them only in therapeutic contexts. However, 
inasmuch as indigenous California medicine was integrally connected with reli- 
gious beliefs and practices, any sharp separation of the two is necessarily arrifi- 



12 



GROARK Vol. 16, No. 1 



cial. As we will see below, the relationship between ritual vision induction and 
therapeutic vision seeking is quite complex, and distinctions between the two rap- 
idly begin to blur. 

The Kawaiisu believe that red ants were one of the four medicines given to 
people at the beginning of time, along with tobacco, nettles, and toloache (Zigmond 
1981:23). When evaluating the efficacy of traditional remedies, J. P. Harrington's 
Chumash consultants often declared red ants to be one of the three finest medi- 
cines: Jose Juan Olivas felt them to be the most powerful medicine in terms of the 
supernatural powers they conferred, followed by toloache and tobacco (Harrington 
1986b:rl.98, fr.608), while Fernando Librado Kitsepawit ranked them third, sur- 
passed only by toloache and sea water (Hudson 1979:56). 

Most of the groups occupying south-central California were reported to use 
ants both internally and externally in the treatment of unspecified illnesses, in- 

le Kitanemuk (Harrington 1986b:rl.98, frs.124, 384, 415), Kawaiisu 



mond 



Chumash (Hudson 1979:73; Walker and Hudson 1993:60, 89-90), Monache 
(Wobonuch), Southern Valley Yokuts (Nutiinutu and Yawelmani), Southern and 
Central Foothill Yokuts (Palewyami, Wikchamni, Yawdanchi, Bokninwad, 
Yokod)(Driver 1937:99), and Northern Miwok (Aginsky 1943:440). The Owens 
Valley Paiute and the Entimbich band of the Monache limited the therapeutic use 
of red ants to external application, while the Wikchamni band of the Central Foot- 
hill Yokuts took them only internally (Driver 1937:99). 

Unfortunately, most ethnographic accounts regarding the therapeutic use of 
red ants are disappointingly brief, and frequently neglect to specify the conditions 
that were treated. Despite these lacunae, a survey of the extant literature reveals 
that they were employed in the treatment of a diverse inventory of conditions, 
including: paralysis, gastrointestinal ailments, severe colds, pain, arthritis, and 
gynecological disorders. Red ants were also widely used throughout south-cen- 
tral California as a general tonic. The ants were either swallowed alive (as in ritual 
use) or applied in great numbers to the exterior of the body, then aroused to anger 
so they would sting freely. Many groups practiced both forms of administration, 
choosing between them depending on the condition being treated and the prefer- 



men and women were allowed 



ants for medicinal purposes 
The internal administration 



form of administration 



is identical, involving various pre- and post-ingestion food proscriptions. Although 
visions were sometimes sought during medicinal ant ingestion, there was no at- 
tempt to gain a dream helper or shamanic powers. Frances Philips, an elderly 
Tubatulabal woman, has left a record of her experience with therapeutic ant inges- 
tion, which took place between 1875-1885 at the village of uupulap on the South 
Fork Kern River. This account provides a typical example of the therapeutic use of 
red ants, and highlights the structural similarity between ritual and medicinal uses: 

I became sick at uupulap; my arm was bent and I couldn't straighten it. 
So I didn't eat meat for a month, then my aunt gave me red ants. She gave 
me half a baking-powder can full of little balls of cotton with live red ants 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 13 



wrapped up inside them. I hadn't eaten anything the day before my aunt 
gave me those ants. . . I took the ants in the morning and slept all day; then 
I woke up and everything was clear and bright. The red ants that are all 
around here now are the ones I took. I didn't eat any meat for a month; if I 
had, then when I took the ants they would have killed me. 

Those ants are good to take for a bad cold too, wrapped up in eagle 
down. When you take them you burn inside your stomach, just like fire; 
you get hot inside; they bite you there, I guess. I slept all day the time I took 
ants; I was unconscious and I slept outside on the ground and rolled over 
and over in the dirt. My hair got full of dirt; I didn't know anything. They 
gave me warm water to drink when I woke up that evening; then I vom- 
ited, but nothing came up except water. The cotton and the ants had disap- 
peared. I could straighten out my arm again. After that I just ate acorn gravy 
and a little bread; no meat or grease for a month [Voegelin 1938: 73]. 

From this and other accounts, Voegelin was able to reconstruct a normative 
description of therapeutic red ant ingestion among the Tubatulabal. The similari- 
ties between the following account and Jose Juan Olivas' account of ritual inges- 
tion are striking: 

For heavy colds, paralysis, 4-5 yellow ants [or] large red ants [were] 
wrapped together in eagle down; 15-20 of these balls swallowed with sips 
of water, one ball at a time, by man, woman who had abstained from meat 
for month, fasted for 2-3 days and vomited each morning during fast, pre- 



taking ants. After swallowin 



sting 



ened, "s 

remained in stupor 24 hrs., at end of this time given warm water to induce 
vomiting ... If all ants came up alive, patient would recover completely, if 
half of them were dead he "wouldn't live lone," and if all dead he would 



only 



meat, erease for month 



men. " 



them" [Voegelin 



These accounts illustrate several typical features of therapeutic ant swallow- 
ing, including pre- and post-ingestion food avoidances, a regimen of purging and 
fasting for both patient and doctor, the characteristic death-like stupor, and forced 
post-ingestion vomiting. In the treatment of less serious conditions fewer ants were 
ingested and no loss of consciousness occurred. A particularly unusual feature of 
therapeutic ant ingestion is the divinatory or prognostic role accorded to the ants 
after they have been regurgitated. This trait is also reported for the Kawaiisu (Driver 
1937:99) and the Northern Paiute (Steward 1941:331; in Sutton 1988:65). 

While visions are not reported in either of these accounts, we know that they 
played a central role in many therapeutic contexts— especially when supernatural 
etiology was suspected. The Kawaiisu swallowed red ants in order to ward off 
supernatural threats. After witnessing a bad omen, both men and women would 
take red ants in an attempt to counteract the impending misfortune: 

When vou are out and see something you haven't seen before— a big 



14 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



animal 



two 



days. He will eat you. . . But if you eat or drink nothing after seeing him 
you take red ants the next morning, you will live... [you] swallow red 
in order to be well. After swallowing the ants, you fall into a deep slee 
once like being drunk. The [creature! comes to vou in vour dream and s 



"you will not die" [Zigmond 1977:77-78]. 

The importance of the manifestation of visions suggests that direct contact 
with supernatural power was considered necessary in the treatment of particu- 
larly tenacious, serious, or unusual conditions. J. P. Harrington reports that one of 
his Central Foothill Yokuts (Wikchamni-Yawdanchi) consultants, Juan Dionisio, 
"has taken estafiate [Artemisia donglasiana Bess, in Hook.] and also red ants — his 
child was sick and [Dionisio] took red ants but he did not succeed in dreaming 
anything, and for this reason the child died" (Harrington 1986a: rl.94, fr.382). Ap- 
parently, failure to "dream" — to contact dream helpers in a visionary trance — pre- 
cluded access to the inherently curative powers that reside in the realm of the 



outcome highly unlikely. This 



common 



This form of therapy was particularly common among 



various Yokuts and Monache groups (Driver 1937:99), and Y 

led for the Northern Miwok (Aginsky 1943:440). 

Among the Yokuts, Monache, and Miwok there existed a w 



that the ants would "crawl throu 



// 



swal 



lowed in therapeutic contexts (Driver 1937:99; Aginsky 1943:440). This seemingly 
odd statement may reflect the Yokuts belief that illnesses became visible when 
diagnosed under the influence of hallucinogenic agents, manifesting physically as 
"swarms of insects" or "microcosms" that covered the victim's body (Gayton 
1948:119). These pathogenic microcosms were immediately brushed off into a fire, 
and the patient was invariably cured. If this interpretation is correct, it would sug- 
gest that these groups may have taken red ants in order to induce a visionary state 
in which the same ants were seen to "crawl through" to the surface of the body, 
presumably carrying the illness from the interior to the exterior of the bodv, where 



was 



many simple ailments 



common in the treatment 



The Kitanemuk treated painful 



6 



// 



with 



large numbers of red ants to the affected area, then inducing them to s 

belief that they would "take out all the badness" (Harrington 1986b:rl.9 

The Gabrielino, Luiseno, Serrano, Cupeno, and Mountain and Western 

followed a similar procedure to alleviate body pains (Drucker 1937:43; Johnsto 

1962:66), and the Central Miwok are reported to have treated infants 

disease" by preparing a mash of red ants and applying the resulting paste to the 

child's body (Aginsky 1943:440). 

The external administration of large numbers of red ants is a typical feature of 
native California "ant ordeals." During these painful physical ordeals, a boy was 
forced to stand or lie in a newly disturbed ant nest and allow the ants to sting his 
naked body repeatedly, usually until he lost consciousness. While these ant or- 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 15 



deals were not directly therapeutic, they were viewed as a form of general preven- 
tative medicine which imparted strength, fortitude, and endurance — traits neces- 
sary for a long and healthy life. The practice was common among the Chumash, 
and appears to have been integrated into the ritual repertoire of the Toloache Com- 
plex among the Tubatulabal (Driver 1937:98) and possibly the Monache (Driver 
1937:99). The Northern Miwok also employed an ant ordeal to "test strength" — 
four or five men would lay down in a disturbed ant nest, and the one who en- 
dured the longest was given an award by the chief (Aginsky 1943:440). 

Fernando Librado Kitsepawit, J. P. Harrington's principal Chumash consult- 
ant, related the ant ordeal he underwent as an adolescent. This event took place 
while constructing an irrigation canal somewhere near Mission San Buenaventura 
before the secularization of the mission system in 1836: 

There was a time when I had the red-ant treatment. . . While [my mother 
and maternal grandfather] were digging they cut through an ant nest, and 
a multitude of ants came out and my mother said that if I was going to die 
[someday], she wanted me to live to a ripe old age. I was naked. My mother 
stood me right in the midst of the red ants, and they crawled all over me 
and bit me, after which I fainted. Thereupon. . .my grandfather came with a 
lot of green sycamore leaves, and rubbed me all over freely with the leaves. 
He then chewed some tobacco and rubbed this over my body too. I came to 
and never suffered any ill effects after that [Hudson 1979:73]. 



o ritual dim 
indicated in 



was often q uite informal 



tus occurred, except among the Mountain Cahuilla who inte 



J 



Cupeno, who closed their Datura ritual with an ant ordeal (Du Bois 1908:91-92; 
Strong 1929:317, 339), and the Gabrielino, who "tested and hardened" their youths 
by subjecting them to an ant ordeal involving both internal and external adminis- 
tration in the final stages of the puberty observance (Heizer 1968:36; Johnston 

1962:60-61). 

In the treatment of particularly serious or tenacious conditions, ants were of- 
ten swallowed then simultaneously applied to the exterior of the body (usually 
the abdomen, chest, and/or back). A particularly dramatic example of this dual 
administration was provided to Carobeth Tucker Harrington by Angela Montes, a 
Kitanemuk woman who had been given red ants in the treatment of post-par turn 



// 



cold" (probablv referring to uterine hemorrhage, dysmenorrhea, or a similar 



necological disorder): 



After Vicente was born, I took cold or for some other reason became 
very sick. I was suffering great pain in my belly (gesture with both hands to 
sides of upper part of belly below ribs. . .). They gave me red ants as a medi- 
cine, both externally and internally. First, they put them all over my belly, 
from navel down...so you could not see my skin for the ants. It is no trouble 
to get them to stay on, as they begin to bite and hang on very tightly the 
minute the V touch your skin. The pain was intense. At the same time that 



16 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



the external treatment was applied, I also had to swallow a great many live 
red ants — I don't not know how many, a lot. They of their own accord cling 
together in balls and it is these balls of ants that you swallow. This was also 
very painful. They must surely have bitten me inside, as I felt like some- 
thing was pricking me between my shoulders. Some days after taking the 
red ant treatment, a flow of blood came freely from my uterus, and I got 
well [Harrington 1986b:rl.98, frs.384, 415]. 

As we have seen, the therapeutic use of red ants appears to have been more 
widespread and culturally variable than their use in ritual contexts. The few spe- 
cific accounts we have indicate that red ants were administered internally and /or 



in the treatment of diverse conditions ranging from sim 



seemin 



straightforward, "empirical" therapies, native Californians utilized the visionary 
potential of red ants in order to harness the power of the supernatural and direct it 
towards therapeutic ends. These practices reflect a sophisticated understanding 
of the nature of venom: namely, that poison can often act as a medicine or an 
hallucinogen, depending on the dose. This quasi-Paracelsan observation largely 
elides the distinctions between the three concepts, inseparably linking them to- 
gether under the overarching rubric of supernatural power. 



POISON AS POWER, POISON AS MEDICINE 



in 



be the equivalence drawn by native Californians between poison, power, medi 
cine, and hallucinogen. In native Californian thought, poison (or venom) was un 



sign of potent supernatural power. 
t was their dangerouslv amoral ch 



was 



foremost, only secondarily was it put to use for either malevolent or h 
ids (Applegate 1978). Accordingly, many venomous creatures were 



teemed as powerful supernatural allies v™ ^^ c ^^ lllc auuxiy tu eumci 
shamanic powers during the vision quest. 

Among the Tachi Yokuts, Black Widow was the supreme dream helper of pow- 
erful shamans. The association between the two was so strong that black widows 
and shamans were called by the same name, metsa, meaning "true, real, big, and 
powerful" (Gayton 1948:24). Among the Kitanemuk the equivalence of these con- 
cepts is even more apparent. The word for poison or venom is pahaviit— this same 
term is also used to refer to specialized shaman's dream helpers such as Bear and 
Rattlesnake (Anderton 1988:452). Given the extraordinary toxicity of Pogonomyrmex 
venom, and a cultural predisposition to equate poison with supernatural power, it 
comes as no surprise that this species would become identified as rituallv and 



consultants cited the 



sting 



// 



medi 



cine" as the primary indicator of therapeutic and supernatural efficacy— less po 



were thought to be ineffective 



fornia 



interesting to note that the three "sacred medicines" 



in 



ants— are all extremely toxic. The cultural his 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 17 



tory of these hallucinogenic agents is very old, and it was only through long-term 
experimentation and use that these potentially deadly substances could be ma- 
nipulated with impunity for therapeutic or visionary ends. 

Although not a "true" hallucinogen, tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) is highly psycho- 
active and is used throughout the Americas in the induction of narcosis and ec- 
static trance, usually in shamanic or curing contexts (cf. Wilbert 1987, 1991). Nico- 
tine, the principal alkaloid in tobacco, is highly toxic. The amount of nicotine con- 
tained in an ordinary cigar — if it were extracted and injected internally — would 
kill a man twice over (Larson et al. 1961). Visionary trance is induced by carefully 
managing the toxic effects of the nicotine alkaloid, pushing the aspirant very close 
to death then bringing him safely back as the toxic tobacco alkaloids are metabo- 
lized (Wilbert 1987:157). 

Toloache (Datura wrightii) provides another interesting illustration. This solana- 
ceous plant owes its psychoactive properties to a group of neurotoxic tropane al- 
kaloids (including atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine) which acts directly 
upon the central nervous system. In addition to being highly toxic, these alkaloids 
are true hallucinogens. Unfortunately, tapping into the plant's visionary powers 
is risky — by the time hallucinations manifest, the alkaloids are often at near-fatal 
levels, making poisoning or death a distinct possibility (Levy and Primack 1984:36; 
Blackwell 1990:36). The Chumash recognized that the visionary substances in 
Datura were also potent poisons — in fact, it was commonly held that rattlesnakes 
derived their venom by sinking their fangs into a toloache root and sucking up the 

poison before biting a human (Applegate 1975:11) 

In recent years, toxicologists and phytochemists have shown that the venoms 
and assorted toxins found in insects, reptiles, and plants are actually complex sec- 
ondary defensive compounds that have evolved in order to protect the organism 
from predation. At certain non-lethal dosages, many of these toxins produce "side 
effects" which can be therapeutic and/or psychotropic in humans (and often, in 
other mammals as well). As Schultes and Hofmann (1992 [1979]) have pointed 
out, natural substances are useful in medicinal and/or visionary contexts precisely 
because they are toxic. The difference between a poison, a medicine, and an hallu- 
cinogen is often merely one of dosage. 



HALLUCINOGENIC RED ANTS: POSSIBLE BASES OF PSYCHOACTIVE 

The ethnographic record is unequivocal— in native south-central California 
Harvester ants were used to induce altered physiological states during which vi- 
sions manifested. The question remains— to what do these ants owe their vision 
producing potential? In this section I examine the ethnographic accounts in light 
of general pharmacology and toxicology, and propose two possible explanations 
for the reported psychoactivity. First, I consider the possibility that the ants are 
"true" hallucinogens, containing endogenously-produced, directly hallucinogenic 
chemicals. Second, I examine the possibility that the psychoactivity is a toxic "side 
effect" of massive envenomation combined with non-venom factors such as physi- 
ological stress and cultural preconditioning. I present data which suggest that cer- 
tain venom constituents (possibly kinin-like agonists) could interact with neu- 



18 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



rotransmitters to trigger a cascade of psychophysiological events, including en- 
dogenously-produced hallucinations. 

Previous reports of extra-botanical hallucinogens. — The most obvious explanation of 
Pogonomyrmex psychoactivity would be to postulate the presence of true chemical 
hallucinogens as metabolites or venom components. The occurrence of such en- 
dogenously-produced psychoactive compounds outside of the plant kingdom is 
rare, but not unheard of. The only animal with clinically demonstrated hallucino- 
genic potency is the Sonoran Desert toad (Bufo alvarius), whose venom contains an 
unusual enzyme, O-methyl transferase, which converts bufotenine (5-OH-DMT) 
to the potent hallucinogen 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT). The 
activity of this enzyme leads to the production and accumulation of prodigious 
quantities of 5-MeO-DMT in the toad's cutaneous, tibial, and parotoid glands 
(Deulofeu and Ruveda 1971; Weil and Davis 1994). Remains of this toad have been 
found in archaeological contexts at Olmec and Maya sites in Mesoamerica, as well 
as Moche sites in northern coastal Peru, suggesting that these societies may have 
recognized the unique nature of Bufo secretions and exploited them for visionary 
purposes (Weil and Davis 1994). 

Similarly, cutaneous toxins from the skins of neotropical frogs (mostly 
Phyllobates, Phyllomedusa , and Dendrobates) are reported to produce psychoactive 
effects when rubbed into self-inflicted burns by the Amahuaca and Matses Indi- 
ans of the Peruvian Amazon (Carneiro 1970). Analysis of skin secretions from these 
frogs has revealed the presence of a number of vasoactive and neuroactive pep- 
tides (Daly et al. 1992; Erspamer et al. 1993). Interestingly, recent research indicates 
that a majority of the cutaneous alkaloids found in Dendrobates auratus are not 
endogenously produced, but are captured from dietary sources, which include 
alkaloid-rich myrmicine ant species (Daly 1994; Daly et al 1994)7 

In addition to these well-documented examples, there have been occasional 
but unsubstantiated reports of an "hallucinogenic" moth (Myelobia smerintha 
Huebner) that induces "marvellous dreams" when eaten in the larval stage (Britton 
1984), several related fish species known as the Norfolk Island "dream fish" and 
the Hawaiian "nightmare weke" reputed to possess dream-inducing properties 
(Ott 1993:410), and a black and red bird called oconenetl from Tlaxcala, Mexico, 
whose flesh was reportedly eaten for hallucinogenic effect by the Aztecs (La Barre 
1981; Ott 1993:416). 8 

To date, no directly hallucinogenic constituents have been isolated from any 
arthropod. However, several pharmacologically interesting compounds have been 
isolated from the venoms of myrmicine ants. Anabasine, a toxic tobacco alkaloid, 
was isolated from the venom of Aphaenogaster fulva. Although anabasine is a mi- 
nor alkaloid in tobacco, this marks the first time it has been found in an insect 
(Wheeler et al 1981). Other alkaloids have been isolated from the poison glands of 
myrmicine ants, including: dialkylpiperidines, pyrrolidines, dialkylpyrrolidines, 
and an indolizine (Wheeler et al 1981). Three lactones related to nepetalactone 
(the principal active agent in catnip, and a possible hallucinogen in humans), and 
several coniine-related alkaloids have also been reported (Jackson and Reed 1969; 
Pavan 1959: cited in Blackburn 1976:80). 9 Although none of these alkaloids is known 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 19 



to be directly hallucinogenic in humans, their presence is provocative and under- 
scores the need for further toxicological research. Given the extreme plasticity of 
the ant's venom gland and the preliminary state of our knowledge concerning the 
chemicals it synthesizes, the possibility remains that a directly psychoactive com- 
pound awaits our discoverv. 



Venom and visions: A possible toxicological basis. — While direct psychoactivity on the 
part of Harvester ants remains a possibility, I would like to suggest an alternate 
toxicological explanation of the practices described in this paper. It is possible that 
the visionary experiences reported ethnographically are not due to direct biochemi- 
cally-based psychoactivity on the part of the ants, but rather represent an endog- 
enously-produced physiological response to intentional massive envenomation 
in short, ant poisoning. There is ample evidence that experiences very similar to 
hallucinations may be induced by the ingestion of toxic substances which upset 
the normal metabolism, causing abnormal mental states to develop. Such altered 
states of consciousness may also be induced without ingesting toxins — long peri- 
ods of drumming, dancing, fasting, self-induced physical pain, and high fevers 
have been known to alter normal metabolic functions to such a degree that visions 
manifest (Schultes and Hofmann 1992 [1979]). 

The pre-ingestion practices recorded in the ethnographic accounts indicate 
that native Californians knew how to carefully manipulate diet and behavior in 
ways that altered basic metabolic processes and rendered the human body maxi- 
mally susceptible to altered mental states. The three days of fasting and forced 
purging that preceded ant ingestion would have produced stress on blood physi- 
ology, generating low glucose levels (thereby stressing the brain), and significantly 
altering the digestive function. Under starvation, the production of digestive en- 
zymes decreases significantly, and the avoidance of meat and grease particularly 
helps decrease degradative enzyme production. This regimen of dieting and purg- 
ing would set up a benign microenvironment in the stomach, protecting the ants 
and their venom from digestive degradation. The synergism of these non-venom 
factors would certainly potentiate the action of venom constituents, and when 
combined in a ritual setting, may have predisposed the individual to visionary 

experiences. 

The ethnographic record stresses the fact that the ants were always swallowed 
alive and unmasticated. This mode of administration risks not only ant bites, but 
also envenomation from the sting apparatus left in the skin, mouth, and stomach, 
as Pogonomyrmex exhibits sting autonomy (Hermann 1971). In fact, many native 
consultants were aware that the ants "bit the lining of the stomach," and some 
reported burning or prickling sensations in the throat and/or upper body, and an 
intense, fire-like burning in the stomach. 

This form of live oral ingestion relies on a direct gastrointestinal route of ad- 
ministration and on enteric envenomation from the buccal cavity, the laryngeal 
tract and the stomach, and possibly the large and small intestines. The buccal cav- 
ity is the most propitious site for venom absorption, with a thin epithelium and a 
rich blood supply. Once the venom is injected, it is not diminished by passage 
through the liver, but gains access directly to the heart and general circulation. 



20 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



The stomach and small intestine also represent favorable sites for rapid absorp- 
tion, and stings in either location would introduce toxic venom components di- 
rectly into the bloodstream. In addition, Pogonomyrmex venom contains potent 
pro-inflammatory agents that speed absorption by increasing vascular dilation 
and capillary permeability The fact that ant ingestion (as well as tobacco and toloache 
use) occurred on an intentionally purged and dieted stomach may have furthered 
the rapid progress of ants into the small intestine where they could sting the intes- 
tine wall, potentially inducing toxic reactions. 

Recent toxicological research has shown Harvester ants of the genus 
Pogonomyrmex to possess the most toxic insect venom recorded to date. Their venom 
has the highest known mammalian lethality of any arthropod (LD 50 = 0.1-1.1 (ig 
venom/ g mouse, n = 15 species of Pogonomyrmex), and proved to be 5 times more 
toxic than the venom of the Oriental hornet and 8-10 times more toxic than that 
reported for honeybee venom. These two venoms are the most toxic venoms re- 
ported from insects outside the genus Pogonomyrmex (Schmidt and Blum 1978a,b,c; 

Schmidt et al. 1989). 

This extreme toxicity is derived from the presence of rich quantities of direct 
hemolysins and assorted enzymes (including hyaluronidase, phospholipase A 2 
and B, lipase, acid phosphotase, and esterases), some of which promote the inter- 
nal spreading of venom components by opening passages through host tissue 
matrix (Schmidt 1986:475). In addition, Pogonomyrmex is one of the few genera for 
which the presence of neurotoxins has been physiologically demonstrated (Schmidt 
and Blum 1978b; Piek et al 1989; Piek 1991). These peptidal compounds appear to 
have evolved as deterrents against vertebrate predators, and produce a marked 
reaction in the mammalian central and peripheral nervous systems. 

Harrington's account of Chumash ant ingestion states that as many as 90 eagle 
down balls (each holding 4-5 ants) were ingested in a single session. Assuming 
this information is accurate, an individual might swallow as many as 450 ants per 
day for the duration of the ritual. The venom delivered from this number of 
Pogonomyrmex stings (assuming total venom delivery) represents approximately 
35% of a lethal dose (LD 50 ) of P. calif ornicus venom in an individual with a 100 lb. 
(45.5 kg) body weight (see Table 1 for precise data on venom quantity and lethal- 
ity for Pogonomyrmex species ants). Such massive sub-lethal doses are clearly in 
the range of pharmacological activity, and would likely generate a variety of neu- 
rological and physiological effects. Unfortunately, there are no clinical data on the 
reactions of human subjects to massive quantities of hymenoptera venom, and the 
specific nature of the resulting physiological reactions is therefore uncertain. 10 

It is possible that the visions and catatonia reported ethnographically may be 
triggered by venom constituents that alter the relative levels of endogenous neu- 
rotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain. These 
synaptic transmitters and their metabolites are present throughout the brain at 
low baseline levels, and even small fluctuations in relative quantity can lead to 
pronounced physical and psychic effects similar to those induced by tranquilizing 
or hallucinogenic drugs. Interestingly, these neurotransmitters are structurally simi- 
lar to plant hallucinogens: norepinephrine is chemically related to the hallucino- 
gen mescaline, while serotonin is closely related the hallucinogenic indolealkyl- 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 21 



amines psilocin, DMT, and LSD (Schultes and Hofmann 1992 [1979]; Ott 1993:195). 

Recent studies have shown Pogonomyrmex venom to be a veritable chemical 
cocktail, containing many strongly bioactive compounds (presumably peptides 
and alkaloids). While most of these constituents remain unidentified, the presence 
of kinin-like agonists has been established (Piek et al. 1989; Piek 1991). Kinins are 
endogenously-produced nonapeptides that appear to have potent and profound 
actions in the mammalian nervous system. They are implicated in pain produc- 
tion, and are produced by the body in response to trauma or noxious stimuli. Ex- 
posure to exogenously-produced kinins (such as those found in ant venom) can 
also trigger a kinin-producing response in the body (Moniuszko-Jakoniuk et al. 
1976). The presence of kinins in both frog skin and the venoms of at least nine 
species of ants and social wasps suggests a toxicological effect in vertebrates, since 
both groups of animals must defend themselves against vertebrate predators. 

Although their actions in the mammalian central nervous system are still poorK 
understood, it appears that kinins can function as neuromodulators, altering the 
uptake and release of neurotransmitters and producing marked behavioral changes. 
Moniuszko-Jakoniuk et al. (1976) demonstrated that exposure to bradykinin leads 
to decreased levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in corpus striatum, an in- 
creased level of serotonin in corpus striatum and cerebellum, and a higher level of 
5-hydroxyindoloacetic acid in corpus striatum and hippocampus. In mammals, 
these changes in neurotransmission evoke the following behavioral responses: an 
initial short period (2-5 min.) of excitation, followed by a pronounced depression 
of activity, shallow respiration, cognitive slowing, the appearance of deep cata- 
tonic sedation, paralysis, occasional convulsions, and an eventual return to nor- 
mal functioning (Capek 1962; Moniuszko-Jakoniuk and Wisniewski 1974; 
Moniuszko-Jakoniuk et al. 1976; Yazaki 1989). 11 

The critical question remains — do hallucinations accompany these pathophysi- 
ological responses? Unfortunately, no definitive answer is currently possible. We 
are only beginning to appreciate the complex role of neurotransmission in altered 
states of consciousness, hallucinogenic experiences, psychiatric disorders, and 
delusional conditions such as schizophrenia (cf. Bird 1990; Pearson 1990; Price et 
al. 1990). However, the toxicological explanation outlined above is at least as plau- 
sible as that of direct psychoactivity. We know that certain non-hallucinogenic 
toxins (such as the nicotine alkaloid), when taken in sufficiently large doses, inter- 
act with neurotransmitter systems to produce a cascade of psychophysiological 
responses that often includes anxiety, agitation, hypotension, stupor, delirium, and 
hallucinations (Pearson 1990:316; Wilbert 1987). 12 

It is unlikely that the actions of kinins alone can explain the suite of psycho- 
physiological effects generated by red ant ingestion. The more likely explanation 
is that kinins are but one of the strongly bioactive compounds that produces the 
altered states recorded in the ethnographic record. Kinins are known to cause last- 
ing disruption of the blood-brain barrier (Walker et al. 1995), and may potentiate 
altered mental and physical states by facilitating access to the brain not only of 
themselves, but also of all other venom constituents (which may include as-yet 
unidentified hallucinogenic chemicals). Interestingly, a recent pharmacological 
study of ritual intoxication induced through the administration of poison frog skin 



22 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



secretions concluded that kinins, along with other bioactive peptides, were impli- 
cated in the resulting intoxication (Erspamer et al. 1993). 

The purpose of this discussion has been to explore possible bases of 
psychoactivity for Harvester ants, and thereby stimulate further research into the 
chemistry of Pogonomyrmex venom and its roles in human pathophysiological and 
visionary states. It is now clear that the ant's venom gland is capable of synthesiz- 
ing peptides and complex alkaloids, some of which may ultimately prove to be 
directly psychoactive. Recent toxicological research has also demonstrated that 
Pogonomyrmex species possess a highly toxic venom capable of acting on the mam- 
malian central nervous system and triggering a wide range of psychophysiologi- 
cal reactions. Whether the visionary states reported in the ethnographic record are 
generated by directly psychoactive compounds or complex toxic reactions is a 
question that will only be answered through future pharmacological and toxico- 
logical research. Whatever the final conclusions, the ritual ingestion of Harvester 
ants in aboriginal south-central California represents the first well-documented 
case of the widespread use of an insect as an hallucinogenic agent. 



SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 



In this paper I have outlined the distribution and major features of the ritual 
and therapeutic use of red ants in south-central California. There remains no doubt 
that red ants (almost certainly a Pogonomyrmex species) played a central role as 
vision-inducing agents in the ritual, religious, and medical life of Southern Cali- 
fornia Indians. These "virtuous" creatures were universally esteemed for their 
ability to put human beings in direct contact supernatural power, and paralleled 
tobacco and toloache in terms of their social and religious significance. They were 
used to induce catatonic, death-like states, during which vivid visions of the su- 
pernatural realm manifested. They also played an important role in both curative 
and preventative medicine, treating a diverse body of ailments. It appears that 
these red ants were recognized as therapeutically valuable (and therefore, bio- 
chemically active) based on the potency of their painful stings. This empirical qual- 
ity dovetailed with native ideological constructs which equated poison with both 
curative and supernatural power, potentiating their use in therapeutic and vision- 
ary contexts. 

Both published and unpublished ethnographic accounts have been examined 
in light of general biology, pharmacology, and toxicology in order to assess the 
pharmacological wisdom that informs this exotic and seemingly bizarre practice. 
The extant ethnographic sources cited in this paper strongly suggest that, through 
either direct or indirect action on the central nervous system, massive quantities 
of Pogonomyrmex venom are capable of producing highly altered metabolic states 
during which hallucinatory visions are apt to manifest. While it is possible that 
kinin-like compounds are implicated, the non-specific nature of the ethnographic 
accounts, combined with the preliminary state of our knowledge concerning ant 
venom chemistry makes it impossible to identify a specific pharmacological agent 
or definite mechanism of action. 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 23 



NOTES 



1 Justin O. Schmidt generously provided taxonomic and toxicological data based on his 
Pogonomyrmex collections from southern and south-central California. He may be contacted 
at the following address: Justin O. Schmidt, Research Entomologist/United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture /Agricultural Research Service/Carl Hayden Bee Research Center/ 
2000 East Allen Road/Tucson, AZ 85719-1596. Roy Snelling also provided valuable infor- 
mation on the current nomenclature of Pogonomyrmex species, their distribution, and size. 
He may be reached at the following address: Roy Snelling/Los Angeles County Museum 
of Natural History/900 Exposition Blvd./Los Angeles, CA 90007. 



2 



Due to Harrington's non-directive interviewing technique, data on a single subject are 
often scattered across many pages. In preparing Olivas' account of ritual ant ingestion, 
several descriptions of the same event (from the same informant) were synthesized to in- 
crease clarity. The most complete description was used as the basic structure, and details 
contained on other pages were inserted where appropriate. Some passages have been lightly 
edited in order to clarify meaning and to read with more fluidity. 



John 



ethnograph 



Although her notes have been thoroughly mixed with her husband's (and often attributed 
to him), they are written in a distinctive hand and are easily distinguished. 

Jose Juan Olivas was one of the Harringtons' principal Kitanemuk and Interior 
Chumash consultants on the Tejon. Although he was bom at Saticoy (and was therefore 
Castac or "Inland" Chumash by both ancestry and language), Olivas came to Tejon Ranch 
at age twelve and spent most of his life living among the largely Kitanemuk amalgamation 
of people at Tejon, where he became very familiar with many Kitanemuk cultural practices 



and 



Kitanemuk or an 



uncertain 



Interestingly, exopthalmia (protruding eyes) is characteristic of Pogonomyrmex poisoning, 



:hanges 
The "bloodshot" eyes reported ethnographi 



Pogonomyrmex intoxication. 



ties between 
Kitanemuk i 



isions 



variously glossed as, "to die, to be intoxicated, to dream of something, to see < 
something." In fact, the incorporated form manimuk "to be drunk with toloache" might 
also be translated as "to die from toloache." (c.f. Anderton 1988:411) 



6 This practice has received support from Western 



The 



Pseudomyrmex has been utilized as an efficacious treatment for chrome rheumatoid arthri- 
tis (Schultz and Arnold 1978; Schultz et al. 1978), and there is evidence that a component in 
honey-bee venom alleviates arthritic pain and associated symptoms (Roy Snelling, per- 
sonal communication 1995) 

7 This observation suggests the intriguing possibility that harvester ants, like Dendrobates, 
may be able to sequester psychoactive compounds from dietary sources such as plants. 



24 



GROARK Vol. 16, No.l 



Although there is no direct evidence in support of this hypothesis, it would not be un- 
usual. Many insects are known to sequester chemicals derived from dietary sources — the 
moth Eloria noyesi feeds on the leaves of Erythroxylon coca and sequesters cocaine (J. Ott, 
written communication 1995), and certain bees have been known to produce intoxicating 
honeys after sequestering alkaloids from the nectar of hallucinogenic plants such as Virola 
surinamensis and Atropa belladonna (J. Wilbert, personal communication 1995; Ott 1993:404). 



8 Both the moth larvae and the Tlaxcala bird examples are based strictly on hearsay — no 
voucher specimens were collected, the identity of the animals has not been firmly estab- 
lished, and they were never observed in use. The "dream fish" examples appear to relate 
to a fairly common phenomenon known as ichthyoallyeinotoxism, accidental hallucino- 
genic fish poisoning (Weil and Davis 1994:2). The resulting symptoms are often impossible 
to distinguish from poisoning, and the seasonality of the phenomenon suggests that toxic- 
ity may be related to unknown environmental factors. Ott (1993:414) classifies most of 
these examples as "oneirogenic" or dream-inducing substances, and not as true 
hallucinogens. 



9 Blackburn (1976) suggests that the possible presence of nepetalactone-like compounds 
may provide the key to unraveling Harvester ant psychoactivity. Nepetalactone is the prin- 
cipal active agent in catnip, and appears to be psychoactive in felines. Although catnip has 
been reported to be psychoactive in humans following smoking of the dried leaves (Jack- 
son and Reed 1969), it is uncertain whether the cat-active lactones are implicated, as cats 
are normally affected by the mere aroma of the plant (the active compounds being volatile) 
(Ott 1993:415). Respiratory administration by smoking may involve an altogether different 
mechanism of action. 



10 Although there are no clinical data on the reactions of human subjects to massive quan- 
tities of ant venom, there have been several studies (Brown and Bernton 1970; Chipps et al. 
1980; Grant et al. 1983) focusing on systemic reactions of hypersensitive individuals to 



While 



nisms mediating an allergic reaction are different from those which govern a "normal" 
reaction to large doses of Hymenoptera venom, the symptoms reported in these studies 
bear a striking resemblance to the physiological effects generated through ritual ant inges- 



unconsciousness 



11 Although the kinins present in Hymenoptera venom appear to be closely related to brady- 
kinin — the most potent kinin in mammals — even slight structural differences may cause 
significant changes in activity. In addition, ant venoms contain a variety of unidentified 
agonists that may alter (or even negate) the effects of kinins. There is very little informa- 
tion on the function and mode of action of whole ant venom — let alone these kinin-like 
constituents — in the mammalian central nervous system, so this discussion must be viewed 
as highly speculative. Since most of these experimental results were obtained through di- 
rect intracerebral administration of enormous quantities of brady kinin (4 |Lig/rat), their 
relevance to human pathophysiological events is uncertain. However, the similarities be- 
tween the effects generated by kinins in laboratory settings and those reported ethnographi- 
cally for red ant ingestion are striking and extremely provocative, and warrant further 
investigation. 



12 A potential argument against this "toxic side-effects" explanation is the observation that 
toxins often produce a range of severe primary effects (e.g., memory loss, cognitive slow- 
ing, convulsions, etc.) that could preclude or overwhelm the hallucinogenic "side effects." 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



25 



In addition, certain toxins (as well as certain psychoactive compounds) tend to induce hal- 
lucinations that are chaotic, disjointed, and poorly remembered upon awakening. One could 
argue that such substances are not likely to be used in shamanic or visionary practice be- 
cause the visions they generate do not lend themselves to meaningful interpretation— there- 
fore, the experience would not likely be repeated, and would certainly not be instituted as 
a widespread ritual practice. 

However, the ethnographic facts do not entirely support such observations. Certain 
substances (such as tobacco), are useful as visionary agents precisely because of their toxic 
constituents, and severe physiological "primary effects" are considered part and parcel of 
the "hallucinogenic" shamanic experience generated by these substances (c.f. Wilbert 1987, 



1991). Also, it should be remembered that 



red 



aboriginal 



two 



ingly toxic substances: tobacco (Nicotiana spp.), and the highly toxic hallucinogen toloache 
(Datura wrightii). 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



This paper is dedicated to Roger Robinson, who encouraged my work with the 
Harrington notes, and Brent Berlin, who introduced me to ethnobiology and the rewards 
of interdisciplinary research. I thank everyone who read early drafts of this paper and 
helped develop my thinking on the subject, particularly: Carole Browner, Allen Johnson, 
Eloy Rodriguez, Jill Shapira, Johannes Wilbert, and Dr. Jeff Wilkins. Special thanks go to 
Jonathan Ott, Darrell Posey, Justin Schmidt, Roy Snelling, and Jan Timbrook, all of whom 
reviewed this paper for publication and improved it immeasurably through their comments. 
Thanks to Carolina Izquierdo and Marina Smith for translating the Spanish and French 
abstracts. A special debt of gratitude is owed to Justin Schmidt, who kindly provided his 
unpublished toxicity data for use in this article, and Roy Snelling, for his assistance on 
taxonomy and geographical distribution. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge John P. 
Harrington, Carobeth Tucker Harrington, and the native consultants whose words appear 
on these pages — without their detailed accounts, this important facet of indigenous 
Californian culture would have been forgotten. Thank you all. 



LITERATURE CITED 



AGINSKY, BURT W. 1943. Culture element 
distributions: XXIV Central Sierra. 
University of California Anthropo- 
logical Records 8:393-468. 

ANDERTON, ALICE JEANNE. 1988. The 

language of the kitanemuks of 
California. Ph.D. Dissertation, 

University of California, Los Angeles. 
APPLEGATE, RICHARD. 1975. The datura 

cult among the Chumash. Journal of 

California Anthropology 2:1-17. 
. 1978. 'Atishwin: The dream 

helper in south-central California. 

Ballena Press, Socorro, NM. 



1992a. California Indian 

shamanism and folk curing. Pp. 53-66 
In California Indian Shamanism. 
Ballena Press, Menlo Park, CA. 

_. 1992b. California Indian 

Shamanism. Ballena Press, Menlo Park, 

CA. 

BEAN, LOWELL JOHN and SYLVIA 

BRAKKE VANE. 1978. Cults and their 
transformations. Pp. 662-672 in 
Handbook of North American Indians, 
Vol 8: California (R. F. Heizer, editor). 
Smithsonian Institution Press, 
Washington, D.C. 



BEAN, LOWELL JOHN. 1975. Power and BIRD, E. D. 1990. Schizophrenia. Pp. 264- 



its application in native California. 
Journal of California and Great Basin 
Anthropology 2:25-33. 



277 in An Introduction to Neuro- 
transmission in Health and Disease (P. 
Riederer, N. Kopp, and J. Pearson, 



26 



GROARK 



Vol. 16, No.l 



editors). Oxford University Press, New 



663. 



York. 



W 



THOMAS 



regarding the possible hallucinogenic 
effects of ant ingestion in south-central 
California. The Journal of California 
Anthropology 3(2):78-81. 

BLACKWELL, WILL H. 1990. Poisonous 
and Medicinal Plants. Prentice-Hall Inc., 
Englewood Cliffs. 

BRITTON, E. B. 1984. A pointer to a new 
hallucinogen of insect origin. Journal of 
Ethnopharmacology 12:331-333. 

BROWN, H. and H. S. BERNTON. 1970. 
Allergy to the Hymenoptera V: Clinical 



The basic constituents of toad venom. 
Pp. 475-495 in Venomous Animals and 
their Venoms Volume II: Venomous 
Vertebrates (W. Biicherl and E. Buckley, 
editors.). Academic Press, New York. 

DRIVER, HAROLD E. 1937. Culture 
element distributions: VI Southern 
Sierra Nevada. University of California 
Anthropological Records 1:53-154. 

DRUCKER, PHILIP. 1937. Culture element 
distributions: V Southern California. 
University of California Anthropo- 
logical Records 1:1-52. 



study of 400 patients. Archives of DU BOIS, CONSTANCE (GODDARD). 
Internal Medicine 125:665-669. 1908. The religion of the Luiseno and 



CAPEK, RADAN. 1962. Some effects of 
bradykinin on the central nervous 



and 



10:61-64. 



CARNEIRO, ROBERT L. 1970. Hunting and 
hunting magic among the amahuaca. 
Ethnology 9:331-341. 

CHIPPS, B. E., M. D. VALENTINE, A. 
KEGEY-SOBOTKA, K. C. SCHUBERTH 
and L. M. LICHTENSTEIN. 1980. 
Diagnosis and treatment of anaphylactic 
reactions to Hymenoptera stings in 



184. 



Journal 



COLE, ARTHUR C. JR. 1968. Pogonomyrex 
Harvester Ants: A Study of the Genus 
in North America. University of 
Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 

DALY, JOHN W. 1994. Dietary source for 
skin alkaloids of poison frogs 
(Dendrobatidae). Journal of Chemical 
Ecology 20:943-955. 

DALY, J. W., J. CACERES, R. W. MOM, F. 
GUSOVSKY, M. MOOS, SEAMON, K. 
B., K. MILTON, and CH. H. MYERS. 
1992. Frog secretions and hunting magic 
in the upper Amazon: Identification of 
a peptide that interacts with an 
adenosine receptor. Proceedings of the 
National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 
89:10,960-10,963. 

DALY, JOHN W., SHERRIE I. SECUNDA, 
H. MARTIN GARRAFFO, THOMAS F. 
SPANDE, ANTHONY WISNIESKI, and 
JACK F. COVER JR. 1994. An uptake 
system for dietary alkaloids in poison 
frogs (Dendrobatidae). Toxicon 32:657- 



Diegueno Indians of southern 
California. University of California 
Publications in American Archaeology 
and Ethnology 8:69-186. 
ERSPAMER, VITTORIO, GIULIANA 
FALCONIERI ERSPAMER, CINZIA 
SEVERINI, ROSA LUISA POTENZA, 
DONATELLA BARRA, GIUSEPPINA 



MIGNOGNA 



and 



ANTONIO 



BIANCHI. 1993. Pharmacological 
studies of "sapo" from the frog 
Phyllomedusa bicolor skin: A drug used 
by the Peruvian Matses Indians in 
shamanic hunting practices. Toxicon 
31:1099-1111. 

ESSIG, E. O. 1958. Insects and Mites of 
Western North America. Macmillan 
Press, New York. 

GAYTON, ANNA H. 1928. The narcotic 
plant Datura in aboriginal American 

ion, University 



of California, Berkeley. 



western Mono 
ethnography I: Tulare Lake, Southern 
Valley, and Central Foothill Yokuts. 
University of California Anthro- 
pological Records 10:1-138. 

GRANT, J. A., R. RAHR, D. O. THUESON, 
M. A. LETT-BROWN, J. A. HOKAN- 
SON and J. W. YUNGINGER. 1983. 
Diagnosis of Polistes wasp hyper- 
sensitivity. Journal of Allergy and 
Clinical Immunology 72:399-406. 

HARRINGTON, JOHN PEABODY. 1933. 
Annotations of Alfred Robinson's 
Chinigchinich. Pp. 91-228 in Chinig- 
chinich: A Revised and Annotated 
Version of Alfred Robinson's 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



27 



Translation of Father Geronimo 
Boscana's Historical Account of the 
Belief, Usages, Customs, and Extrava- 
gancies [!] of the Indians of this Mission 
of San Juan Capistrano Called the 
Acagchemem Tribe (P. T. Hanna, editor). 
Fine Arts Press, Santa Ana, CA. 



1986a. John P. Harrington Papers, 

Part 2 (Northern and Central 
California). Washington: Smithsonian 
Institution, National Anthropological 
Archives. [Microfilm edition. Kraus 

International Publications, Millwood, 

NY.]. 



1986b. John P. Harrington Papers, 
Part 3 (Southern California/Basin. 



North America. The Stephen Greene 
Press, Lexington. 

LEVY, RICHARD. 1978. Eastern Miwok. Pp. 
398-413 in Handbook of the North 
American Indians, Volume 8, California 
(R. F. Heizer, editor). Smithsonian 
Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 

MILLS, ELAINE L. and ANN J. 
BRICKFIELD (editors). 1 986. The Papers 
of John Peabody Harrington in the 
Smithsonian Institution 1907-1957: A 
Guide to the Notes, Vol 3, Native 
American History, Language and 
Culture of Southern California /Basin. 
Kraus International Publications, White 
Plains, N.Y. 



Washington: Smithsonian Institution, MONIUSZKO-JAKONIUK, JANINA and 



National Anthropological Archives. 
[Microfilm edition. Kraus International 
Publications, Millwood, NY.]. 

HEIZER, ROBERT F. (editor). 1968. The 
Indians of Los Angeles County: Hugo 
Reid's Letters of 1852. Southwest 
Museum, Los Angeles, CA. 

HERMANN, H. R. 1971. Sting autonomy: 
A defensive mechanism in certain social 
Hymenoptera. Insectes sociaux 18:111- 
120. 



KONSTANTY WISNIEWSKI. 1974. The 
effects of kinins on the psychomotor 
activity of rats as evaluated by Lat's test. 
Acta neurobiologiae experimen-talis 
34:621-628. 
MONIUSZKO-JAKONIUK, JANINA, 
KONSTANTY WISNIEWSKI, and 
MARIA KOSCIELAK. 1976. Investiga- 
tion of the mechanism of central actions 
of kinins. Psychopharmacology 50:181- 
186. 



HUDSON, TRAVIS (editor). 1979. Breath of OTT, JONATHAN. 1993. Pharmacotheon: 



the Sun: Life in Early California as Told 
by a Chumash Indian, Fernando 
Librado, to John P. Harrington. Malki 



Entheogenic Drugs, Their Plant Sources 
and History. Natural Products Co., 
Kennewick, WA. 



Museum Press, Morongo Indian PAVAN, MARIO. 1959. Biochemical aspects 



Reservation, Banning, CA. 
JACKSON, B., and A. REED. 1969. Catnip 

and the alteration of consciousness. 

Journal of the American Medical 

Association 207:1349-1350. 
JOHNSTON, BERNICE EASTMAN. 1962. 

California's Gabrielino Indians. 

Southwest Museum, Los Angeles. 
LA BARRE, W. 1981. Review of Schultes, 

Richard E. and Albert Hofmann, Plants 

of the Gods: Origins of Hallucinogenic 



of insect poisons. Proceedings of the 
Fourth International Congress of 
Biochemistry, Symposium XII: 
Biochemistry of Insects. Pergammon 
Press, New York. 
PEARSON, J. 1990. Drug dependence. Pp. 
312-320 in An Introduction to 
Neurotransmission in Health and 
Disease (P. Riederer, N. Kopp, and J. 
Pearson, editors). Oxford University 

Press, New York. 



Use. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs PIEK, TOM. 1991. Neurotoxic kinins from 

wasp and ant venoms. Toxicon 29:139- 



13:105. 

LARSON, PAUL STANLEY, H. B. HA AG, 
and H. SILVETTE. 1961. Tobacco: 
Experimental and Clinical Studies: A 
Comprehensive Account of the World 
Literature. Williams & Wilkins, 
Baltimore. 

LEVY, CHARLES KINGSLEY and 
RICHARD B. PRIMACK. 1984. 
Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms of 



149. 
PIEK, T, J. O. SCHMIDT, J. M. DEJONG, 
and P. MANTEL. 1989. Kinins in ant 
venoms: A comparison with venoms of 
related Hymenoptera. Comparative 
Biochemistry and Physiology C: 
Comparative Pharmacology and 
Toxicology 92C117-124. 



28 



GROARK 



Vol. 16, No.l 



PRICE, D. L., P. J. WHITEHOUSE, R. G. 
STRUBLE, J. C. HEDREEN, AND G. R. 
UHL. 1990. Transmitter systems in 
selected types of dementia. Pp. 349-357 
in An Introduction to Neuro- 
transmission in Health and Disease (P. 
Riederer, N. Kopp, and J. Pearson, 
editors). Oxford University Press, New 
York. 

SCHMIDT, JUSTIN O. 1986. Chemistry, 



Archaeology and Ethnology 8:187-234. 

STEWARD, JULIAN H. 1941. Culture 
element distribution: XIII Nevada 
Shoshoni. University of California 
Anthropological Records 4:209-360. 

STRONG, WILLIAM D. 1929. Aboriginal 
society in southern California. 
University of California Publications in 
American Archaeology and Ethnology 
26:1-358. 



pharmacology, and chemical ecology of SUTTON, MARK Q. 1988. Insects as food: 



ant venoms. Pp. 425-508 in Venoms of 
the Hymenoptera: Biochemical, 
Pharmacological, and Behavioural 
Aspects (T. Piek, editor). Academic 
Press, New York. 

SCHMIDT, JUSTIN O. and MURRAY S. 
BLUM. 1978a. A harvester ant venom: 
Chemistry and pharmacology. Science 
200:1064-1066. 

1978b. Pharmacological and 

toxicological properties of harvester ant, 
Pogonomyrmex badius, venom. Toxicon 
16: 645-651. 

1978c. The biochemical 

constituents of the venom of the 
Harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius. 
Comparative Biochemistry and 
Physiology 61C: 239-247. 

SCHMIDT, PATRICIA J., WADE C. 
SHERBROOKE, and JUSTIN O. 
SCHMIDT. 1989. The detoxification of 
ant {Pogonomyrmex) venom by a blood 
factor in horned lizards (Phrynosoma) . 
Copeia 3:603-607. 

SCHULTES, RICHARD E. and ALBERT 
HOFMANN. 1992 [1979]. Plants of the 
Gods: Their Sacred, Healing and 



Press, Rochester, VT. 

SCHULTZ, D. R. and P. I. ARNOLD. 1978. 
Ant venom (Pseudomyrmex sp.) as an 
activator of CI and an inactivator of the 
C3b inactivator: Its use in rheumatoid 
arthritis. Pp. 172-186 in Clinical 
Aspects of the Complement System 
(W. Opferkuch, K. Rother and D. R. 
Schultz, editors). P.S.G. Publishers, 
Massachusetts. 

SCHULTZ, D. R., J. J. BYRNES, and H. E. 
BROWN. 1978. Response of mixed 
cryoglobulinemia to treatment with ant 
venom. Clinical Research 26:56A. 

SPARKMAN, PHILIP S. 1908. The culture 
of the Luisefio Indians. University of 
California Publications in American 



Aboriginal entomophagy in the Great 
Basin. Ballena Press Anthropological 
Papers No. 33. Ballena Press, Novato, 
CA. 



VOEGELIN, ERMINIE 



W 



1938. 



Ttibatulabal ethnography. University of 
California Anthropological Records 2:1- 
84. 

WALKER, KATHARINE, MARTIN 
PERKINS, and ANDY DRAY. 1995. 
Kinins and kinin receptors in the 
nervous system. Neurochemistry 
International 26:1-16. 

WALKER, PHILLIP L. and TRAVIS 
HUDSON. 1993. Chumash Healing: 
Changing Health and Medical Practices 
in an American Indian Society. Malki 
Museum Press, Morongo Indian 
Reservation, Banning, CA. 

WEIL, ANDREW T. and WADE DAVIS. 



1994. 



tfi 



Ethnoph 



alvarius: A potent 
: animal origin. Journal 



WHEELER, J. W., O. OLUBAJO, and C. B. 
STORM. 1981. Anabaseine [sic]: Venom 
alkaloid of aphaenogaster ants. Science 
211:1051-1052. 



Hallucinogenic Powers. Healing Arts WILBERT, 



Shamanism in South America. Yale 

University Press, New Haven and 
London. 



1991. Does pharmacology 

corroborate the nicotine therapy and 
practices of 



South American 
shamanism? Journal of Ethnopharma- 
cology 32:179-186. 

YAZAKI, K. 1989. Studies on the 
mechanism of the sedational state; 
"tranquilization" evoked by bradykinin 
or kallikrein in rats. Advances in 
Experimental Medicine and Biology 
247B:595-600. 

ZIGMOND, MAURICE. 1977. The 
supernatural world of the kawaiisu. Pp. 
59-95 in Flowers of the Wind: Papers on 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



29 



Ritual, Myth and Symbolism in 
California and the Southwest (T. C. 
Blackburn, editor). Ballena Press, 
Socorro, NM. 
1981. Kawaiisu Ethnobotany. 



University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. 



1986. Kawaiisu. Pp. 398-411 in 

Handbook of North American Indians, 
Vol. 11, Great Basin (W. D'Azevedo, 
editor). Smithsonian Institution Press, 
Washington, D.C. 



BOOK REVIEW 



Histoire Illustree du Caoutchouc. J. B. Serier, A. Diez, and A. Van Dyck. 

Montpellier, France (Cirad-CP, BP5035, 34032 Montpellier Cedex 1): Editiones 
Desjonqueres, 1993. Pp. 96. (Price and ISBN not found). 



A most remarkable book has appeared: a pictorial history of rubber. It will be 
of interest to specialists in the production of this most important economic plant, 
to teachers, to students and, in fact to the general reader. 

The illustrated history begins with the dinosaur age. It then proceeds to: the 
Aztec use of rubber and the European encounter with the product; the 18th cen- 
tury with the uses in Europe of this new substance; the early French interest in 
rubber; the Humboldt and Bonpland period, followed by the discovery by 
Goodyear of vulcanization; the ensuing proliferation of commercial and indus- 
trial uses; the effect of rubber on bicycle and motor car transport; the rubber boom 
and mistreatment of rubber tappers in Africa and South America; the several at- 
tempts to procure seed to domesticate Hevea; and many later commercial and 
scientific events, including such historically significant aspects as the influence on 
the British and Dutch plantations of Asia from the Japanese occupation in 1945, 
plus an innumerable series of exceedingly interesting and important aspects of 

the history of rubber. 

As a botanist who has devoted nearly half a century in field work on rubber in 
the Amazon (taxonomic studies of the sources of rubber) and has published many 
scientific papers on Hevea rubber, I applaud the authors of this unusual way of 
presenting the full history of rubber-producing plants and their effect on the cre- 
ation of our modern world. It is with great pleasure that I recommend this contri- 
bution with no reservations as a major step in explaining the history of rubber to a 
wide audience without recourse to many books, most of them unavailable in many 
libraries. 



Richard Evans Schultes 
Botanical Museum of Harvard University 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 



30 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol . 1 6, No . 1 



The Diversity and Evolution of Plants. Lorentz C. Pearson. Boca Raton, 



U.S.). ISBN 0-8493-2483-1 



$59.95 (Outside United States, $72 



There can be no other word to describe this book than the term 



encyclopaedic . 



well 



mine of information and from an interdisciplinary ooint of view, 



:an, without any reservation, be recommended 
material valuable for environmental conservati 



method 



technical contents. Each part contains 



cial interest essays and often other topics for student guidance. It is much more 
than a student guide however, and it can be used as an excellent source of easily 
obtainable information. 

The author, Lorenz C. Pearson, is Professor of Botany and Curator of the Cryp- 
togamic Herbarium at Ricks College, Roxbury, Idaho, and Adjunct Associate Pro- 
fessor in Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, and has written several other 
books and more than 40 technical articles. 

The Diversity and Evolution of Plants is divided into four parts: I. Introduction. 
II. The Red Line. Prokaryotes, Red Seaweeds; Terrestrial Fungi (Molds and Mush- 
rooms); Lichens and other Symbiotic Plants); III. The Brown Line. Fire Plants and 
Cryptophytes; Slime Molds; The Ubiquitous Algae (Diatoms and other Chrysophytes); 
Flagellated Fungi; Kelps and other Brown Seaweeds. IV. The Green Line. Euelenids; 



The Pond "Mosses 



// 



Mosses and Liverworts; Fern 



es and Origin of Vascular Plants; Ferns; Gymnosperms, and Flowering 
There follow: a Glossary of 319 technical terms, 19 pages of very useful 
:>hic entries, and a most exhaustive index occupying 39 pages. 
The author rightly said: "Knowledge about plant diversity is impoi 



awed bv how mea 



me or to the tropical taxonomist 



Human life, and indeed all life, is unthinkable without 



md oxygen which only green plants 
in presenting the significance of this 



" He has done a mas 



Richard Evans Sc 
1 Museum of Harvard Uni\ 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 



Journal of Ethnobiology 16(l):31-62 



Summer 19% 



RECONSTRUCTING PREHISTORIC SOCIOECONOMIES 

FROM PALEOETHNOBOTANICAL AND 

ZOOARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA: 
AN EXAMPLE FROM THE BRITISH COLUMBIA PLATEAU 



DANA LEPOFSKY 

Department of Archaeology 

Simon Fraser University 

Burnaby,B.C. V5A1S6 



KARLA D. KUSMER 

4683 Cheatgrass Lane 
Sparks, NV 89436 



BRIAN 



ifA 



Simon Fraser University 
Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6 



KENNETH P. LERTZMAN 
of Resource and Environmental Management 

Simon Fraser University 
Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6 



ABSTRACT.— The Keatley Creek site, located on the British Columbia Plateau, is 
composed of 119 house depressions. In order to investigate the position of resi- 
dential structures of different sizes in the socioeconomy at Keatley Creek, we com- 
pare the density, diversity, and distribution of the plant and animal remains re- 
covered from the living floors of a small, medium-sized, and large housepit. In 
particular, we investigate whether differences in these residential structures cor- 
relate with differences in housepit socioeconomic status, and whether the larger 
housepits show evidence of distinct domestic subgroups, which themselves dit- 
<•_..• • .-_*_*.... TUi,«,.„;™.nnmhpr of methodoloeical approaches 



This requires a number 

The results of both the faunal 



mat are not commonly usea. me iouus ^i ww. —~ •< 

indicate that density and diversity of remains do vary with housepit size Taxo- 

- • ., * . _ j . • i„ r„^rr/icf fVi^f mnrp diverse activities 



richness of both plants and 



structure. The faunal 



tooKDiace in me large^i miuuuic. h^ *«"* ■ . 

support the hypothesis that the large housepit was divided into distinct domestic 

f r Jr ... . , • ;, a^.c TVip Hctribuh on of floral 



socioeconomic 



and faunal remains from the medium-sized and small nouses s,ug S «« «•» -- 
nal domestic subgroups were less pronounced and activities were undertaken 
more communally. A larger, more diverse sample is needed before we can make 

1 



32 LEPOFSKY ET AL. 



Vol. 16, No.l 



definitiv 



paleoethnobotanical 



zooarchaeological analyses in studies of prehistoric social and economic organi- 
zation. 



RESUMEN.— El sitio arqueologico de Keatley Creek, ubicado en la region de la 
Meseta en Columbia Britanica, Canada, esta compuesto de 119 depresiones 
habitacionales. Con el fin de investigar la posicion de estructuras residenciales de 
diferente tamano en la socioeconomia de Keatley Creek, comparamos la densidad, 
diversidad y distribucion de los restos de plantas y animales recuperados de los 
pisos de una vivienda pequefia, una mediana y una grande. En particular, 
investigamos si las diferencias en estas estructuras residenciales se correlacionan 
con diferencias en estatus socioeconomic©, y si los fosos habitacionales mayores 
muestran evidencia de subgrupos domesticos distintos que difieran entre si en 
estatus socioeconomico. Esto requiere de un numero de aproximaciones 
metodologicas que no son comunmente empleadas. Los resultados tanto de los 
analisis faunisticos como floristicos indican que la densidad y la diversidad de 
los restos si varian en relacion al tamano del foso habitacional. La riqueza 
taxonomica de ambos, plantas y animales, sugiere que en la estructura mayor se 
llevaban a cabo actividades mas diversas. Los restos de animales, mas no de 
plantas, apoyan la hipotesis de que el foso habitacional mas grande estaba dividido 
en subgrupos socioeconomics distintos, posiblemente de estatus socioeconomico 
desigual. La distribucion de los restos floristicos y faunisticos de las viviendas 
medianas y pequenas sugiere que los subgrupos domesticos internos eran menos 
pronunciados y que las actividades eran emprendidas en forma mas comunitaria. 
Se requiere de una muestra mayor y mas diversa antes de que podamos hacer 
declaraciones mas definitivas acerca de la socioeconomia prehistorica en Keatley 
Creek, pero este trabajo demuestra el valor de combinar los analisis 
paleoetnobotanicos y zooarqueologicos en los estudios de la organizacion social 
y economica prehistorica. 



RESUME 



structures 



lateau de la Colombie britannique 
connaitre le role de chacune des 



Creek, nous avons compare la quantite, la diversite et la repartition des debris 
d^especes vegetales et animales trouves dans les parties habitees d'une petite, 



une 



a savoir s'il y avait une relation entre la quantite, la diversite et la repartition de 
ces debris dans les differentes maisons et les differents statuts sociaux et 
economiques des occupants des maisons excavees et, dans le cas des grandes 
maisons, si des sous-groupes domestiques distincts avec des statuts sociaux et 
economiques differents ont pu coexister. Une telle recherche a necessite l'emploi 
de plusieurs methodes generalement peu utilisees. Les resultats des analyses des 
debris d'especes vegetales et animales montrent que la quantite et la diversite des 



memes 



L'abondance taxinomique des debris a la fois floraux et fauniques suggere qu'il se 
tenait plus d'activites variees dans la grande maison. L'analyse des debris d'especes 
animales, ce qui n'est pas corrobore par celle des debris d'especes vegetales, vient 
etayer l'hypothese de la presence de sous-groupes domestiques distincts, a statuts 
sociaux et economiques probablement inegaux, dans la grande maison. La 
repartition des debris floraux et fauniques dans les deux autres maisons porte a 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 33 



moins 



et que les activites qui s'y tenaient etaient plus communautaires. II faudra exam- 
iner un echantillon plus important et diversifie avant de se prononcer de fa<;on 
definitive sur la vie economique et sociale prehistorique de Keatley Creek. 
Toutefois, la presente etude montre l'interet d'utiliser ensemble des methodes 
d'analyse paleoethnobotaniques et zooarcheologiques dans l'etude de 
l'organisation de la vie sociale et economique des societes prehistoriques. 



INTRODUCTION 



Differential access and control over resources are fundamental charactersitics 
of complex societies which are reflected in the archaeological record. To examine 
the archaeological correlates of socioeconomic complexity, we focus on the remains 
of a large winter village located along the Fraser River in southwestern British 
Columbia (Figure 1). Ethnographic and archaeological evidence suggests that the 
hunter-gatherer subgroups occupying these pithouse villages were socially and 
economically complex (Hayden and Ryder 1991; Hayden and Spafford 1993; 
Hay den et al. 1985). The wide variation in size and apparent complexity of the 
pithouses led us to develop hypotheses about social and economic differences both 
among and within pithouses, and to postulate that these differences would be 
reflected in the organic remains within the houses. 

In 1986, an excavation program began at the Keatley Creek site, the largest 
remaining pithouse village in the region, to reconstruct the prehistoric social and 
economic organization at the site, and in particular to investigate the position of 
the vastly different sized residential structures in the socioeconomy. There are a 
total of 119 house depressions at the site, ranging in size from 5-21 meters in diam- 
eter measured from rim crest to rim crest. In order to understand the nature of the 
different sized structures, a detailed comparison of the economic and social orga- 
nization of various sized residences was undertaken. In this paper we discuss the 



socioeconomy of the Keatley Creek site as reflected in species composition, spe- 
cies richness, and spatial distributions of paleoethnobotanical and 
zooarchaeological remains recovered from the living floors of a small, medium- 
sized, and large housepit. 1 

In developing the overall goal of the project, Hayden et al. (1985) hypothesized 
that the housepit village at Keatley Creek was occupied by residential corporate 
groups of differing economic and social status. They posited that differences in 
housepit size were dependent upon socioeconomic differentiation and control. 
The larger houses, they predicted, housed groups of relatively greater wealth and 
status, and should exhibit greater internal socioeconomic differentiation than 

smaller structures. 

These hypotheses generate the following predictions: 

1) Differences in residence structure size generally correlate with differences in socio- 
economic status, such that the largest houses contained the most privileged indi- 
viduals, and the proportionally smaller structures the less privileged ones. As- 
suming that more affluent groups produce more refuse in a greater variety of con- 



34 



LEPOFSKY ET Ah. 



Vol. 16, No.l 



FIGURE 1 . — Location of Keatley Creek site and other housepit village sites in the 
study area. 




Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 35 



texts, the larger housepits should contain the greatest density and diversity of 

• / £< 1 * 1 1 ■ 1 • k 1 il « 



remains after sam 



items 



ethnographies suggest that smaller 



more hkelv to produce more remains 



things being equal (Hayd 



cial, nonresidence structures, such as feasting or sweat lodges. 



differentiation 



more 



more 



domestic 



in 



subgroups. 



into areas used by distinct domestic subgroups; and b) by 
?alth and /or occupation between these distinct domestic 



A "domestic subgroup " may be composed of a single nuclear family, an ex- 
tended family, or several unrelated individuals or families. The delineation of dis- 
tinct domestic subgroups is distinguished archaeologically by the regular, repeated 
patterning of food processing and consumption remains across the floor, with each 
set of remains being associated with a different subgroup. Differences in status, 
wealth, and/or occupation among domestic subgroups would be expressed by 
the presence of special or restricted items associated with only some of the distinct 
domestic subgroups. The absence of regular, repeated patterning of all remains 
would suggest that internal domestic subgroups were less pronounced and that 



undertaken more communa 



housepits were tested to determine their suitability 



of the 



many small 



building events. Almost 



medium 



Shuswap 
zon (2,400 



inning of the Kamloop 



rizon (1,200-200 b.p.). Refuse inside the house was periodically gathered together 
and dumped outside at the base of the roof forming stratified rim middens sur- 
rounding the house depressions. Houses had to be re-roofed periodically, prob- 
ably every 1-3 years. 2 It appears that all the accumulated living floor debris and 
sediment were removed, and a clean till floor re-established with each re-roofing 
event. In most houses tested, there was no remaining evidence of multiple house 



r sediments that we excavated represent the accumulated 
from the last re-roofing event until final abandonment of 



house. 



We completely excavated the floors of a small (HP 12), medium-sized (HP 3), 
and large housepit (HP 7). These housepits were chosen because of the ease of 
defining their floor deposits and because the floor deposits in these housepits were 
approximately contemporaneous. Clearly defined floor and roof deposits were 
identified in the selected small, medium-sized, and large housepits on the basis of 
field criteria such as charcoal remains of roofs, color changes, textual changes, and 



36 LEPOFSKY ET Ah. 



Vol. 16, No.l 



reported here resulted from these exca\ 
were to delineate patterning of remains 



faunal material comprisin 



make comparisons between the structures which 



socioeconomic 



The three housepits are ideally suited for such a study. All three houses were 
clearly residences rather than special function structures. This is most strongly 
indicated by the lithic assemblages in all three strucutres which displays a basic 
underlying similarity including artifacts likely to have been used by both women 
(hide scrapers, abrading stones, fire-cracked rocks) and men (projectile points, 



medium 



were 



smaller 



few 



entative of the social and economic organization of smaller housepits. 3 
persistent association of a different type of lithic material with each major 

from Shuswap times until final abandonment indicates that a single cor- 
roup retained ownership of each large house site over this time period 

1996). Presumably, each large residential corporate group controlled a 
hunting and gathering area in the mountains and different tvoes of chert 



m 



winter 



a given lithic type with a particular house implies that the large and medium- 
sized housepits were continuously occupied over more than 1,000 years by a single, 
identifiable social group with periodic re-roofing and excavation of prior living 
floor accumulations. During this time, the larger structures do not appear to have 
changed fundamentally in size or internal organization based on the relatively 
close clustering of main post holes and the constant position of storage pits in 
relation to the edge of the floors. 

All houses seem to have been systematically abandoned, with no useful or 
valuable material being left on the floors. Roofs in all three structures were burned 
soon after abandonment, thereby sealing the floor deposits from subsequent dis- 
turbance and providing a charcoal layer useful in distinguishing the floor from 
the roof deposits. The burning of all three structures after abandonment resulted 
in the preservation of a wide variety of floral remains. 

The non-random distributions of botanical, faunal, and lithic remains associ- 
ated with hearths and walls suggest little disturbance or mixing of floor sediments. 
Further, there is little evidence for contamination or confounding taphonomic fac- 
tors, such as carnivore damage (Kusmer 1993a; Lepofsky 1993a). The discrete dis- 
tributions of seeds and fish remains, in particular, are convincing since small re- 
mains appear to be those most likely to reflect original primary refuse patterns 
(Bartram et al. 1991; Gifford 1980; Miksicek 1987; O'Connell 1987; Stahl and Zeidler 
1990). Nor was there any accumulation of refuse in the center of any of the housepits 
as one might expect from post abandonment dumping. Moreover, the depositional 
environment of the three housepits seem to have been similar, suggesting that 
differences in the preservation of organic remains should be largely due to cul- 
tural rather than environmental factors. The Keatley Creek remains, then, are ideal 
for examining the archaeological correlates of socioeconomic behavior in the 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 37 



pithouses. 

The usable floor of the largest excavated housepit (HP 7), which covered an 
area approximately 113 m 2 (not including wall slopes), had a series of well devel- 
oped fire-reddened areas close to the west perimeter of the floor (Figure 2). These 
were associated with large storage pits, concentrations of fire-cracked rock, tools, 
debitage, abrading stones, and anvil stones. The eastern part of the floor had a 
number of less well defined hearths associated with fire-cracked rock, anvils, tools, 
debitage, and abrading stones, but no large storage pits, and a narrow earthen 
bench or shelf along the perimeter. Based on lithic analyses, the fire-reddened ar- 
eas appear to correspond to individual domestic subgroups within this large house 
(Spafford 1991). We are interested in determining whether the distribution of or- 
ganic remains supports this supposition. 

The floor plans of the medium-sized and small housepits are less complex 
than the large structure (Figures 3 and 4). The medium-sized housepit (HP 3) cov- 
ered approximately 78 m 2 in area. A wooden bench is suggested by carbonized 
planks remains recovered along the eastern and northeastern walls. One large stor- 
age pit in the northwest floor and three additional more shallow depressions are 
located on the floor of the medium-sized structure. There are also three fire-red- 
dened areas on this floor. The small housepit (HP 12), which covers only 38 m 2 in 
area, had only one fire-reddened area and several shallow depressions. 

It is difficult to determine whether floors in the three structures were occu- 
pied for the same length of time. However, the debris and discoloration on each of 
the floors were substantial enough to indicate that all had been used for a number 
of years. We do not expect any of the floor accumulations to represent more than 
60 (and probably far fewer) consecutive years since the last re-roofing event of the 
structure. The smaller housepit does not appear to have been occupied long enough 
for a significant amount of debris to have accumulated on the housepit rim. In the 
other housepits, the rim debris deposits are very thick and begin their deposi- 
tional sequences prior to 2400 bp. 



ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 

The Keatley Creek site is situated about 25 km upstream along the Fraser River 
from the modern community of Lillooet, British Columbia. The village site is lo- 
cated on a terrace of morainal origin, about 370 m above and 1.5 km distant from 
the Fraser River. The vegetation on the site today is characteristic of disturbed 
grasslands in the region and is dominated by various grasses and big sagebrush 
(Artemisia trident at a). Forested slopes rise steeply to the east of the village and, 
near the site, are dominated by ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Douglas-fir 
(Pseudotsuga menziesii). These forests extend from the site up to where they grade 
into sub-alpine meadows. They represent 



imatic zones from the Ponderosa Pine zone, through the Interior 
zone, to a mix of montane and subalpine forest types (Meidinger and 



1991). 



the Fraser Riv 



allowed access to a variety of animal and plant resources due to the 
zones available within a short distance of the site. Principal fooc 



FIGURE 2. 



-Maps showing features and distribution of floral and faunal remains on floor of large housepit (HP 7). Boxes on 



floral maps indicate 50 x 50 cm sampling subsquares for flotation. 



00 




O - 5 food seeds 

Q £ 5 non-food seeds 







fire-reddening 

pits 

edge of bench 



N 








Q > 200 needles 




fish bone 

frequencies range from to 59 



2m 





Q > 5 g charcoal 




non-fish bone 

frequencies range from to 1 59 



r 
O 

tn 



£ 



ON 

z 

o 



FIGURE 3. — Maps showing features and distribution of floral and faunal remains on floor of medium-sized housepit (HP 3) 
Boxes on floral maps indicate 50 x 50 cm sampling subsquares for flotation. 




O ^ 5 * ood seeds 
Q > 5 non-food seeds 





v> 




N. 



fire-reddening 

pits 

planks 



N 

A 




O * 200 needles 




fish bone 

frequencies range from to 36 



tnf 



m 




Q > 5 g charcoal 




non-fish bone 

frequencies range from to 31 



B 
B 



On 



O 

c 




> 

r 
O 




Z 

o 



O 
O 



v© 



FIGURE 4.— Maps showing features and distribution of floral and faunal remains on floor of small housepit (HP 12). Boxes 

indicate 50 x 50 cm sampling subsquares. Numbers in the subsquares are the total numbers of seeds or bones recovered from 
each subsquare. 




seeds 






fire-reddening 
pits 



N 




Q > 200 needles 




non-fish bone 





O 



> 5 g charcoal 




fish bone 



4^ 



O 

en 

H 



£ 



on 

z 

o 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 41 



include anadromous salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), deer {Odocoileus spp.), bighorn 
sheep (Ovis canadensis), a variety of berry crops such as rosehips (Rosa spp.), cur- 
rants (Ribes spp.) and saskatoons (Amelanchier alnifolia), and several edible "roots" 
including balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata), various members of the lily family, 
and several Lomatium species. See Alexander (1992) for a more detailed discussion 
of fauna available in the various vegetation zones around the site and Turner (1992) 
for a detailed ethnobotanical discussion of plant use by the St'at'imc (Upper 
Lillooet) of the Keatley Creek area. 



METHODS 



Excavators collected bulk flotation samples for the paleoethnobotanical analysis 
from designated 50 x 50 cm sampling subsquares (Figures 2-4). All samples were 
measured to a standardized volume of one liter and then floated using the "gar- 
bage can" technique (Watson 1976). The bucket mesh was 1.0 mm and the scoop 
mesh was 0.45mm. The light fraction provided the material for the 
paleoethnobotanical analysis (Lepofsky 1993a, 1993b) and the heavy fraction the 
material for the microfaunal and microdebitage analyses (Handley 1990; Kusmer 
1993a, 1993b). The heavy fraction was also checked for charred botanical remains. 

A total of 123 flotation samples from pithouse floor contexts was examined for 
archaeobotanical remains, which was comprised of 69 samples from the large 
housepit (HP 7), 38 from the medium-sized housepit (HP 3), and 16 from the small 
structure (HP 12). In the large and medium-sized housepits roughly 15% of the 
floor subsquares were examined for archaeobotanical remains; approximately 12% 
of the floor subsquares of the small housepit were examined. 

Faunal remains were recovered from 6.35 mm mesh dry screening of the exca- 
vated floor deposits and from the heavy fraction of flotation samples, which al- 
lowed recovery of bones down to 1 mm in size. All the faunal remains recovered 
from the 6.35 mm screens from the three housepit floor deposits were examined. 
In the large and medium-sized housepits faunal remains from flotation samples 
were examined from ca. 25% of the floor subsquares, while ca. 16% of the remains 
from the small housepit were examined. Faunal remains from the examined flota- 
tion samples consist of salmon fragments and tiny, unidentifiable mammal frag- 
ments. These data largely proved to be redundant with data from the larger mesh 
screens; the few exceptions are discussed below. Our analyses and discussion of 



taxonomic richness 



from the 6.35 mm 



RESULTS 



The results of the paleoethnobotanical and zooarchaeologica 
ge, medium-sized, and small housepits are discussed in turn 
comparisons of remains among the three structures. The freqi 



remams 



in 



remains are distinguished on the maps 



42 



LEPOFSKY ET AL. 



Vol. 16, No.l 



and animal taxa recovered, their frequencies, and uses are presented in Tables 1 



and 2. 



TABLE 1 . — Archaeobotanical remains recovered from the floor of the three 
housepits. 



Scientific Name 
(common name) 



Alnus cf. sinuata (alder) 
Amelanchier alnifolia 

(saskatoon) 
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 

(kinnikinnik) 

Betula papyri/era 

(paper birch) 
?Boraginaceae 

(Borage Family) 

Carex sp. (sedge) 
Chenopodium sp. 

(chenopod) 
Cornus sericea 

(red-osier dogwood) 
Ericaceae 

(Heather Family) 
Graminae (grass) ** 



** 



Opuntia sp. (prickly pear) 
Phacelia sp. (phacelia) 
Pinus ponderosa 
(ponderosa pine) 



Populus sp. (cottonwood) 
Prunus sp. (cherry) 
Pseudotsuga menziesii 
(Douglas-fir) 



Rosa cf. woodsii (rose) 
Scirpus sp. (rush)S 
Silene sp. 
Smilacina stellata 

(Solomon's seal) 
Unidentified 
Unidentified 



Total N ++ 
Total N 



Part 
found* 



C 

S 



s 



c 



s 



s 
s 



s 



s 



s 
o 
s 
s 

N 



c 
c 

s 

N 



c 

s 
s 

1 

s 

2 



c 

s 

(HP 7) 
C 

s 



(HP 7) 



5 
40 



9 



1 



1 



148 



3 



62 



77 

79 

2 

20 

10078 



67 

44 

4 

18129 



218 



9 



14 

94 

(HP 3) 

349 

472 



Frequency 



(HP 3) 



27 



11 



1 

36 



44 



9 

115 

12 

7 
7521 



25 
20 



835 



88 
5 
1 



1 



7 

16 

(HP 12) 

140 

172 



Large HP Medium HP Small HP 



(HP 12) 



2 



10 



2 



T 



F 



2 



16 



Primary 

Use* 



T 
F 



F 



T 



? 



T 

? 



F 



?F 



T 
T 
F 

O 
T 



T 

T 

F 
T 



T 

7 

F 



O 



'Miscellaneous plant parts, such as buds, bark, and other plant tissues are not included here. See 
Lepofsky (1993a) for complete presentation of data. 

tC = charcoal; S = seed; N = needle; O = other 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 43 



JF = Food; T = technology; O = other; see Lepofsky (1993a) for more detailed ethnobotanical 
descriptions. 

**There is no ethnobotanical or paleoethnobotanical evidence that either chenopods or grass seeds 
were ever eaten in the Interior Plateau. 

tt Charcoal from only a small number of the total flotation samples were identified. No charcoal 
specimens from HP 12 were identified. 

TABLE 2. — Faunal remains recovered from the three housepits floors. 



Scientific Name 



Frequency Primary 



(common name) Large HP Medium HP Small HP Use* 

(HP 7) (HP 3) (HP 12) 



Uniden. freshwater shellfish 5 2 T 



T 
T 



T 



Dentalium sp. (dentalium) 3 

Hinnites giganteus 1 

(purple-hinged rock scallop) 

Margaritifera falcata 2 

(freshwater shellfish) 

Nucella sp. (dogwinkle) 1 
Oncorhynchus sp. (salmon) 1344 314 31 F 

Accipiter sp. (hawk) 2 T 

Tetraoninae (grouse) 4 F 



T 



Bird 



1 



F,T 



Lepus americanus (snowshoe hare) 19 

Castor canadensis (beaver) 16 4 3 F, I 

Peromyscus sp. (deermouse) 1 

Microtus sp. (vole) 9 

Canis familiaris (domestic dog) 1 41 



(MNI = 1) 



1 



T 
T 



Vulpes vulpes (red fox) 

Ursus arctos (grizzly) 1 

27 12 3 F,T 

2 F,T 

42 5 1 F,T 



Artiodactyl 
Cervus elaphus (elk) 
Odocoileus sp. (deer) 



Ovis canadensis (bighorn sheep) 1 

Unidentified large mammal 176 35 10 

Unidentified mammal 751 147 71 

Total NISP 2407 561 121 



F,T 



Technolo 



The paleoethnobotanical remains were divided into the three major plant cat- 
egories recovered on the floor: charcoal, needles, and seeds. Seeds were divided 



medium-sized (HP 3) structures into 



ethno 



" is la reel v com 



botanical descriptions). The category "unidentified seed: 
single specimens of each unidentified taxon. In each of the housepits, floral re- 
mains were quantified by determining the number of specimens per one liter flo- 
tation sample collected from each sampling subsquare. These numbers were used 
to determine the concentrations of remains on the floors. 

Distinffuishine archaeobotanical patterning across the floor of the small 



44 



LEPOFSKY ET Ah. Vol. 16, No.l 



housepit is somewhat more problematic than in the two larger housepits. Because 
the small housepit has such limited floor space, clusters of remains may be more 
spatially restricted than in the other housepits. Thus, although roughly the same 
percent of surface area in the three structures has been analyzed for 
archaeobotanical remains, we may be missing relatively more information in the 
unsampled subsquares of the small structure. Given the nature of the 
paleoethnobotanical sampling strategy in the small housepit, anv concentration 



remains is likelv to be defined bv verv few 



remains. Within the mammal 



(mammal 



with 



ments. The high degree of bone fragmentation and loss due to marrow extraction, 
burning, tool making, the clearing of the floor of large debris, and trampling, re- 
sulted in few identifiable fragments. Because of the low numbers, it is difficult to 
compare identifiable elements on a hearth to hearth basis, but it is useful to com- 
pare frequencies of unidentifiable bones. The identifiable fragments reflect most 
clearly their resistance to the above processes and their relative identifiability as 
small fragments. The rather extensive bone and antler tool industry reflected in 



would also have affected the presence /absence 



ments 



housepit. — Archaeobotany. Charcoal, needles, and seeds are distributed 



randomly 



fragments 



structure 



western perimeter of the floor. On the eastern side, charcoal concentre 
the less well defined fire-reddened areas do not correspond. This may 



accumu 



retained large amounts 



charcoal and no hearths may be contamination from the burnt roof. 

Conifer needles in the large housepit are clustered along much of the periph- 
ery of the floor, and are almost entirely absent from the center of the structure. The 
concentration of conifer needles around the periphery of the floor likely indicates 
the deliberate covering of the floor and sleeping platform with boughs for bed- 
ding or floor covering, as was documented in ethnographic times (Teit 1900:199). 
This in turn implies that there were sleeping or domestic areas behind the hearths 
around most or all of the house perimeter. 



There 



which correspond closely to charcoal concentrations. The area in 



m 



included (each representing a sin 



diversity 



m and around this hearth suggests that the hearth was 



processing, or (less likely) was 



This 



area. 



The other two clusters are considerably smaller in extent and diversity of seeds 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 45 



than the large concentration. Their limited occurrence suggests that they 
ther more minor plant processing areas, or accidental, or unique events. The 



seed 



clusters would help to better define their nature. Plant processing which did not 
involve fire (and the accidental charring of plants) may have occurred elsewhere 



on the floor, but the residues from 
archaeobotanical record. 

Non-food seeds occur in clustei 
housepit. Although we ha 
floor into four discrete clusters, we suspect that the gaps between the clusters 



\ 



peri 



more to do with gaps m our sam 



The 



pithouse corresponds well with the zone of highest needle concentration. The non- 
food seed category is predominantly composed of charred chenopod and grass 
seeds. The grass and needles are likely the remains of a covering for bedding or 
floor covering composed of grass stems and conifer boughs. Why the charred che- 
nopods are also associated is not clear, but they may have been accidentally col- 



Keatley Creek. 



A pollen study (Vance n.d. in Lepofsky 
major component of the local prehist 



Approximately 2400 bones were recovered from 



its of the large housepit (Figure 2). About 60% of these are fish bones, about 5% are 
identifiable mammal bones (primarily artiodactyl/deer), and about 35% are small, 
unidentifiable mammal bone fragments (probably mostly deer). 4 The distribution 



prim 



the periphery of the floor, suggests that housecleaning activities kept the activity 



fragments are scattered in low amounts 



with 



eas. The percentage of burned mammal bones is higher in the west and south 
(73%) than in the east (44%), suggesting differential use of fire and mammal bone 
processing or consumption practices between the west and east. 

Four areas on the floor contain high frequencies of fish, along with less dis- 
tinct concentrations of mammal bone (primarily artiodactyl). These fish concen- 
trations are also well represented in the flotation samples. The only difference is a 
cluster of fish bones along the wall in the southwest which shows up in the flota- 
tion sample, but not the larger bone sample. This area also had many tiny, uniden- 
tifiable fragments and may have been an area of heavy trampling or extreme bone 

reduction. 

Fish bone concentrations in the northwest, southeast, and south/southwest 

are associated with hearths and storage pits. In the south /southwest there is also 
a concentration of mammal remains. In the northwest, in addition to the fish and 
artiodactyl, are the remains of grizzly bear, red fox, and bighorn sheep, found 
only in this area. Also, the large pits in this area contain unusual remains such as a 
dog burial, hawk wing bones, and trade shells (dentalium and dogwinkle). 

Tn rtiP southeast, the artiodactvl concentration is relatively high, as is the fish 



46 



LEPOFSKY ET Ah. Vol. 16, No.l 



density. Hare and grouse are limited to this area of the floor. The presence of more 
types of artiodactyl skeletal elements here than on the rest of the floor suggests 
this may have been an important area for reduction of large artiodactyl parts prior 
to cooking. The relatively high frequency of small bone fragments here compared 
to other areas of the floor further suggests processing for marrow and grease ex- 



traction in this area. 



m 



a small hearth. An abundance of beaver incisors also in the northeast may indicate 
a locus for woodworking. 

Each of these four areas, in the northwest, northeast, southeast, and south/ 
southwest, likely represents a discrete activity area for animal consumption and/ 
or processing. This repeated patterning of remains also suggests the presence of 
independent domestic subgroups within this structure. Based on the presence of 
rare faunal remains and major storage pits and hearths, the group occupying the 
northwest may have held relatively higher status. 



The medium-sized housepit. — Archaeobotany. Charcoal, needles, and seeds are dis- 
tributed non-randomly across the floor of the medium-sized housepit (Figure 3). 
There are three distinct charcoal concentrations on the floor of the medium-sized 
housepit. There is generally a close relationship between fire-reddened areas and 
charcoal frequencies. The concentration of needles along the southern periphery 
of the floor likely distinguished this area for sleeping or sitting, as in the largest 
structure. As in the large house, this implies the use of most or all of the peripherv 



domestic or sleeping 



medium 



smaller 



with charcoal concentrations and nearby fire-reddened areas and likely func 
?d for food plant processing. The extent and number of plant remains in th( 



events. 



northwest of the floor suggests that this area was 
;sing. The two small concentrations may represent s 



in the large housepit, the non-food seed clusters on the floor of the me 



dium 



comprised of charred chenooods. This 



from the large housepit where the category was comprised prim 



Without the presence of grass seeds, we cannot think 



monious cultural 



medium-sized housepit. We cannot 



this 



structure may 



centration only around the peripheral areas under the deepest accumulations o 
collapsed roof deposits (Lepofsky 1993a). There is no recorded evidence that che 
nopods were eaten ethnographically, and their absence from hearth areas makes i 
unlikely that they were used as food prehistorically. 



Zooarchaeology. Approximately 560 bones were recovered from floor depos- 
its in the medium-sized housepit. Fifty-six percent of these are fish bones, 32% are 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 47 



unidentifiable mammal, and 12% are identifiable mammal (Figure 3). As in the 
large housepit, most of the remains on the floor are small, suggesting the inhabit- 
ants of the medium-sized structure were keeping the activity areas clear of larger 
debris. The largest bones occur most often near the periphery, except for an imma- 
ture, largely articulated post-cranial canid skeleton found on the floor in the west- 
center area. 

Fish bones occur around the perimeter of the floor, except for the southeast. 



salmon remains 



gesting these were areas of little trampling, perhaps under benches. This 
tion is similar to the fish distribution from the flotation samples, except t 
fish were recovered from the flotation samples in the northeast. The pr 
tiny fish fragments here may be due to heavy trampling. Fish concenti 
the north and in the southwest are associated with fire-reddened areas. 
The two largest non-fish concentrations near the west/center are pc 
the immature canid skeleton. Other non-fish bones (primarily artiodactyl) i 
in the highest frequencies in the north and east/center of the floor, wii 



remains across much 



small 



may be a food processing area. 1 he concentration ot nones in tne norm is associ- 
ated with a storage pit and fire-reddened areas and may also represent a food 
processing area. However, a number of bones in this area, including artiodactyl 
bones, are larger than other floor bones. Their size and location against the house 
wall suggests these bones may represent debris from housecleaning activities placed 
in a "provisional discard" location (Hayden and Cannon 1983). Surprisingly, there 
are few faunal remains near the large hearth in the southeast. 

The patterning of faunal remains across the floor of the medium-sized house 



more indicative of communal food p 
bgroups performing the same animal 



may 



sumption /processing areas in 



The small housepit.— Archaeobotany. Concentrations of charcoal and needles, but 
not seeds, can be distinguished on the floor of the small housepit (Figure 4). The 
three charcoal concentrations roughly correspond to the concentrations of needles. 
The charcoal and needle concentrations in the north correspond to the fire-red- 
dened area. 

Seed densities are strikingly low in all areas across the floor of the small 
housepit, and no area appears to have a greater or lesser concentration than an- 
other. Even the areas which have a concentration of both charcoal and needles, 
have almost no seeds. Indeed, only 16 seeds were found across the floor, repre- 
senting only 5 taxa. The most ubiquitous seed remains are chenopods, which are 
of uncertain ethnobotanical significance, and even its total number is low. 



from floor deposits in 



small housepit (Figure 4). Twenty 



in the northeast corner of the floor. The majority of the remainin 
small, unidentifiable fragments. They are found primarily in th 



48 LEPOFSKY ET AL. Vol. 16, No.l 



The 



remains 



animal food processing activities took place commu 



in this small 



Comparisons between housepits. — Archaeobotany. A common pattern displayed in 
all three structures is the relative absence of all three categories of archaeobotanical 
remains in the center of the floors. This pattern, however, is less marked in the 
small housepit than in the medium-sized and large housepits, probably owing to 
greater constraints on the use of space. Since charcoal can be easily displaced and 



remove, it seems 



inhabitants 



may have been a communal 



housepit floors. 



from 



Large HP Medium HP Small HP 

(HP 7) (HP 3) (HP 12) 



Charcoal 



total (g) 4.4 ±3.9 2.8 ±2.0 2.9 ±2.8 

Douglas-fir (N) 62.5 ±20.3 62.5 ±21.6 — 

Ponderosa pine (N) 18.0 ± 13.7 19.3 ± 20.6 — 

Populus (N) 14.5 ± 19.7 14.7 ± 7.1 — 

Needles 

total (N) 444.7 ±971.8 235.5 ±463.2 278.1 ± 536.6 

Seeds 

total (N) 6.8 ±9.2 4.7 ±5.0 1.0 ±0.9 



* Means and standard deviations, calculated per 1 liter flotation sample.* 

The average amounts of charcoal recovered per liter flotation sample can be 
compared for the three housepit floors (Table 3). Charcoal abundances on the three 
floors are statistically different from one another (ANOVA, p = 0.04), but in a post 
hoc 2-way comparison only the large and the medium-sized floor charcoal are 
significantly different (Tukey HSD, p = 0.07). 6 Thus, the large structure has signifi- 
cantly more charcoal on the floor than the medium-sized structure, but not more 
than the small structure. From this, we can conclude that on average more fires 
may have been burned in the large than medium-sized structure, but there was no 
difference in fire intensity in the large structure versus the small one, nor in the 
medium-sized housepit versus the small housepit. 7 

In terms of species, on average, the three most common wood species (Dou- 
glas-fir, pine, Populus) are found in almost exactly the same proportions on the 
floor of the large and medium-sized housepits (Table 3; D-fir: Mann Whitney U 
test, p = 0.92; Pine: Mann Whitney U test, p = 0.80; Pop: Mann Whitney U test, p = 
0.16). In fact, these taxa have almost identical abundances and standard devia- 
tions across the two housepit floors. Identifications of charcoal from the small 
houseoit were not carried out. 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 49 



We can conclude from this that the same kinds of fuel wood were generally 
burned in the large and medium-sized structures, but that more fires were burned 
on average in the largest structure than the medium-sized structure. This result is 
supported by a greater degree of fire-reddening underlying the hearths of the large 
structure compared to the medium-sized structure. Whether the burning of more 
fires has more to do with differential access to fuel, the intensity which the large 
housepit as a whole was used, or perhaps length of use of the last floor, cannot be 
determined at present. 

Although the three structures do not differ from one another in average needle 
abundance per liter flotation sample (ANOVA, p = 0.2), the distributions of needles 
on the three floors are quite distinct. The nearly continuous peripheral concentra- 
tions in the large and medium-sized structures but not the small housepit indicate 
that the needles may have been used differently in the latter structure. The con- 
centration of conifer needles around the periphery of the larger two housepit floors 
likely indicates the deliberate covering of pole or plank platforms with boughs for 
bedding or floor covering. While these platforms are described and illustrated 
ethnographically, they are more difficult to identify archaeologica 1 ly. Only the pres- 
ence of small post holes near the wall of the large house, an earthen bench along 
the wall of the same structure, and a fortuitously preserved bench plank along one 
wall of the medium-sized house, indicate use of sleeping platforms at Keatley 
Creek. The inhabitants of the small housepit slept either directly on the pithouse 
floor or on mats that were not preserved. The source of the sporadic high concen- 
trations of needles on the floor of the small housepit cannot be determined at this 

point. 

The three housepits differ from one another in the average number of seeds 
recovered per liter flotation sample (Table 3; ANOVA, p = 0.005). In a post hoc 2- 
way comparison the large structure is significantly different from the small housepit 
(Tukey HSD, p = 0.003), and the medium-sized housepit significantly differs from 
the small structure (Tukey HSD, p = 0.04). If seed density can be taken to represent 
intensity of use, these results suggest more intensive use of seed plants in the large 
and medium-sized housepits than in the small. The medium-sized and large 
housepits cannot be distinguished statistically. 

Differences in species richness in the housepits can be evaluated by compar- 
ing the number of seed taxa on the floors of the three structures. Richness is the 
number of species present in a given assemblage. Although we were only able to 
identify a limited number of taxa, far more taxa are represented by the unidenti- 
fied category. When number of taxa represented in the unidentified category are 
taken into account, it is clear that the floor of the large housepit has far more taxa 
represented by seeds than either of the other two housepits (Table 1; HP 7 = 108, 

HP 3 = 28, HP 12 = 5). 8 

In order to assess these differences in richness, we need to consider the effect 
of sample size. When the logarithm of the total number of seed is plotted against 
the logarithm of the number of specimens (not shown) in the three housepits, the 
three structures fall on the same line, indicating that total number of taxa can be 
accounted for by sample size. However, a plot of the number of taxa against num- 
ber of specimens recovered (Figure 5) illustrates that the slope is beginning to 



50 



LEPOFSKY ET Ah. 



Vol. 16, No.l 



level off in the two larger structures and that the number of taxa is ap 
the true maximum number of taxa. From this we can conclude that these 
have been adequately sampled to assess relative richness, and that the c 
in species richness may represent real behavioral differences between 
hires. 



FIGURE 5. — Number of identifiable taxa (NIT) of seeds plotted against number of 
identifiable specimens (NISP) recovered from three housepit floors. The lines are 
distance weighted least squares smoothings (DWLS; Wilkinson et al. 1992). 





6 
5 
4 

3 
2 
1 










4 



8 



12 



16 



f- 




30 



20 - 



10 












30 



60 



90 



120 



150 



180 



125 



100 - 



75 



50 



25 












80 



160 



240 



320 



400 



480 



NISP 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



51 



Although we have no basis to argue that the number of taxa represented in 
the small structure approaches its true maximum number of species, there appear 
to be real differences in taxon abundance in the three structures. The larger struc- 
tures have already accumulated more taxa than the small house when we com- 
pare them at the point they have each accumulated a number of identifiable speci- 
mens equal to the total accumulated in the small structure (i.e., at NISP = 16, HP 7 
= 12 taxa, HP 3 = 13 taxa [interpolated], HP 12 = 5 taxa). This indicates that the 
patterns observed in the small house are not merely an artifact of sample size. 

FIGURE 6. — Log number of identifiable taxa (LNIT) of seeds plotted against log 
number of identifiable specimens (LNISP) recovered from three housepit floors, 
illustrating accumulation rates of seed taxa per specimens. 

2.5 



2.0 



1.5 






1.0 



0.5 



0.0 








1 



2 



3 



LNISP 



To further examine the differences in species diversity, we compare the rate ot 
accumulation of species relative to the addition of new specimens (Figure 6). In 
biological samples, the number of species observed characteristically increases with 
the size of the sample, the area sampled, or the number of specimens examined 
(Krebs 1989; Magurran 1988). The rate at which species accumulate with sample 
size, as well as the eventual asymptote of species richness, can both be used to 
characterize an ecological community. We take the logarithm of the number of 
seed taxa and of the number of seed specimens and fit regression lines to charac- 



52 



LEPOFSKY ET Ah. Vol. 16, No.l 



terize their relationship within each housepit. When the slopes of the three lines 
are compared, the large housepit is significantly different than the medium-sized 
and small housepits (ANOVA f-test for homogeneity of slope; p < 0.0001 in both 
cases), but the medium-sized and small housepits are statistically similar (p = 0.89). 
From this we can conclude that the large housepit is accumulating number of spe- 
cies/specimens at a significantly higher rate than in the other two housepits. 

Finally, we compare the three housepits in terms of species evenness. Even- 
ness is a measure of the equability of the relative abundances of the species in an 
assemblage. For example, an assemblage with low evenness would be dominated 
by many individuals of a few taxa, with other taxa poorly represented. The small 
housepit appears to have the least even distribution of species (Figure 7) and the 
medium-sized and large structures appear similar in evenness. However, the shapes 
of the frequency distributions in Figure 7 cannot be distinguished statistically 
(Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, HP 7 and 3: p = 0.70; HP 7 and 12: p = 0.37; HP 3 and 
12: p = 0.43). 

There are some notable differences in the seed species composition of each of 
the houses, especially among the less common species. The three most abundant 
species in the medium-sized and large structures (not including the unidentifieds) 
make up approximately 65% and 60%, respectively, of the entire distribution. In 
the case of the large housepit, the total includes chenopods, grasses, and Ericaceae. 
In the medium-sized structure the three most common taxa are Ericaceae, cheno- 
pods, and saskatoons. Of the seven most rare species in each distribution, only 
two are shared between the two structures. This may be a result of sample size or 
may represent actual differences in species use in the two housepits. Chenopods 
dominate the small housepit assemblage. 

TABLE 4. Relative frequencies of select faunal taxa from the three housepit 
floors. 



Large HP Medium HP Small HP 

(HP 7) (HP 3) (HP 12) 



Total (N) 2,401 561 121 



Fish 
Canid 



.56 .56 .26 

<.01 <.01 .00 

.03 .03 .05 



Artiodactyl* 

Large mammal .07 .06 .06 



Other 



.33 .34 .63 



* "Artiodactyl" includes deer, sheep, elk, and unidentified artiodactyl remains.* 

Zooarchaeology. The relative frequencies of important taxa from the three 
housepits are listed in Table 4. The large (HP 7) and medium-sized (HP 3) housepits 
contain similar proportions of fish, canids, artiodactyls, and large mammal bones 
on the floor, while the small housepit contains less fish. In terms of average abun- 
dance per square meter of floor, the three housepits are significantly different in 
total number of bones, number of fish bones, and number of mammal bones 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



53 



FIGURE 7. — Abundance of seed taxa recovered from three housepit floors. 





UJ 

O 

LU 
0- 



0.7 

0.6 

0.5 
04 

03 
02 

0.1 



10 






HP 12 



N 



16 



2 



2 



2 




i — r 



i i 



ov^ 



&° 



jpCP 



,\0^ 



&p 



h G 



z& 



F 



^ 



p** 



y* 



& 



^p 



^ 



j?\eo 



0.3 





02 



UJ 

O 

LU 



0.1 



0.0 



T 



T 



T 



T 



T~ 



* 



44 



36 



J 




HP 




12 



N 



172 



il_ 9 



7 



5 



2 



1 



I 



* 



1 



^^<^^ ***** 



S&c^V 



^ 



T 



0.4 



0.3 



T 



~ 



"" 



T 



x 



T 



148 





LU 

o 

UJ 



0.2 



0.1 - 



0.0 

















_ 




94 








64 62 


_ 










40 


20.13 




[ 


l 


1 


1 


1 


1 1 1 



T 



■ 9 9 

iii 



T 



T 



" 



T 




HP 



N = 474 



4 



3 



2 2 



1 1 




i 




^^^S^^ ^^^^^^^ 




54 



LEPOFSKY ET AL. Vol. 16, No.l 



(ANOVA, v < 0.0001 in all cases; Table 5). However, in post-hoc 2-way compari 



between 



The 



animal remains than the medium and small structures, but the medium and small 



terms of averaee density of remains 



Abundance 



Large HP Medium HP Small HP 

(HP 7) (HP 3) (HP 12) 



Fish 



12.1 ±23.2 4.9 ±10.0 1.1 ± 3.1 



Mammal 9.5 ± 16.4 3.6 ± 8.5 3.1 ± 6.1 

Total bones 21.6 ± 28.3 8.5 ± 15.8 4.1 ± 7.2 



*Means and standard deviations, calculated per square meter of floor. Numbers are based on 
numbers of identified specimens.* 

Differences in the species of salmon present between the large housepit and 
the medium and small housepits imply differential access to salmon resources 
(Berry 1992). All of the fish in the small housepit and over 90% in the medium- 
sized housepit were found to be pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), while in 
the large housepit, a broader range of age-categories of salmon, including mostly 
pink salmon, but also three year-old salmon and a few four and five year-olds 
were present. The three year-olds probably represent sockeye salmon (O. nerka), 
although the possibility that some of them may be spring salmon ("Chinook 
salmon" or "king salmon"; O. tshawytscha) cannot be ruled out (Berry 1992). 

When species richness between the three structures is examined (using taxa 
from floor and non-floor deposits), the large housepit has far more taxa than the 
medium-sized or small structures (HP 7 = 18, HP 3 = 6, HP 12 = 3; Table 2 and 
Figure 8). 9 As with the floral data, the logarithm of the total number of specimens 
(LNISP) plotted against that for each housepit (not shown) falls on the same line, 
indicating a correlation between assemblage size and number of taxa. While a 
larger number of rare faunal items is found in the large housepit, we expect more 
taxa simply because of the relative size of the assemblage. However, since the 
faunal assemblages from these houses are virtually 100% samples of identifiable 
remains, sample size is not a major issue (Plog and Hegmon 1993:490). Thus the 
presence of more taxa in the large house probably is due to the more diverse ac- 
tivities involving animal remains of its inhabitants (i.e., hunting, trade, ritual) com- 
pared to the smaller houses. 

As with the plant data, it is informative to compare the rates at which animal 
taxa are added per specimens in each housepit (Figure 9). Comparing the slopes 
of the three lines in Figure 9 we see that the medium-sized housepit differs signifi- 
cantly from the other two (ANOVA f-test for homogeneity of slope; p < 0.0001), 
but the large and small houses have similar slopes (ANOVA f-test for homogene- 
ity of slope; p = 0.374). Based on the steepness of the slope, we conclude that the 
small and large housepits are accumulating species /specimens at a significantly 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



55 



FIGURE 8. — Abundance of faunal taxa recovered from 



// 



unidentified artiodactvl remains 



Artio- 





LU 

O 

LLI 

0_ 



80 
70 
60 
50 
40 
30 
20 
10 





27 



i 



artlodactyl 



* 



6 




beaver 



i 



HP 12 



N 



2 



elk 



35 






LU 

o 




Q. 



70 

60 V 
50 - 
40 - 



30 - 
20 
10 r- 








8 



i 



artiodactyl shellfish beaver 



T 



2 

T" 



hawk 



T 



HP 



N 



1 



T 




hare 



69 



1 



redsquirrel 





iu 
O 

a. 



70 
60 
50 
40 
30 
20 
10 




T 



295 



T 



T 



T 



63 58 



l 







26 



T 




T 



11 7 



T 




T 



T 



T 



3 2 2 2 



^p<^#^ **■* *** *♦* ***vs*»** ^^ ** 



T 



T 



T 



T 



T 



T 



HP 




N 



479 



2 2 11 



1 



1 1 

J L 



rf» W 



**«** ** 



T 



1 




SPECIES 



56 



LEPOFSKY ET Ah. 



Vol. 16, No.l 



FIGURE 9. — Log number of identifiable faunal taxa (LNIT) plotted against log 
number of identifiable specimens (LNISP) recovered from three housepits, 
illustrating accumulation rates of animal taxa per specimens. 



1.5 



1.0 






0.5 



0.0 







o 



A 



D 



A 



T 



HP 



HP 



HP 





12 



T 




. *\\*j * 




ci ; > 



I 



i 



i 




3 



4 



LNISP 



higher rate than the medium-sized housepit. 

In terms of species evenness, the three housepits have similar 



cannot 



(Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, all P values approaching 1.0). The 



relatively high frequencies of artiodactyl and beaver in the three housepits 
table, as is the absence of shellfish and relative abundance of elk in the 
housepit. With the exception of hare, sheep and grouse in the large housep 
large and medium-sized housepits have similar distributions of remains. 



small 



DISCUSSION 



Archaeobotany .— -The results of the archaeobotanical analyses indicate that inten 
sity of plant use is correlated with housepit size. The large structure stands ou 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 57 



clearly as having the greatest density of remains, the greatest number of taxa rela- 
tive to the density of remains, and the most rapid accumulation of taxa relative to 
the number of specimens. Conversely, the small housepit has few remains, few 
taxa, and low accumulation rates of species. The medium-sized housepit is inter- 
mediate in species density, richness, and species accumulation rate. These 
archaeobotanical data support our first hypothesis that differences in the size of 
residence structures should correlate with differences in socioeconomic status, as 
indicated by greater density and diversity of remains. 

Our second hypothesis asserts that larger residences should exhibit greater 
internal differentiation than smaller structures, corresponding to distinct domes- 
tic subgroups with differential socioeconomic status. This hypothesis would be 
supported by the presence of regular, repeated patterning of remains and the pres- 
ence of special or restricted items associated with some of these patterned remains. 
We examined three sources of archaeobotanical evidence which could support or 
reject this hypothesis: the distribution of food-plant processing areas, the distribu- 
tion of the remains of non-food plants, and the pattern of areas with no plant 
remains. 

Distinct plant food processing areas can be identified on the floors of the large 
and medium-sized housepits, but not the small one. In the large housepit, we iden- 
tified one primary food plant processing area, associated with a hearth, and two 
additional minor processing areas. In the medium-sized housepit, one primary 
and two smaller plant food concentrations, each associated with hearth areas, were 
also identified. The spatial extent and species diversity of the larger concentra- 
tions suggest that these areas were used repeatedly for plant processing. The smaller 
concentrations may have been unique events. 

Similarly, the distribution of non-food plant remains indicates that the floors 
in the large and medium-sized housepits were partitioned in a similar manner, 
and were distinct from the small housepit. The placement of floor or bench cover- 
ings along the edge of the large and medium-sized housepits delineates the pe- 
riphery of those structures from the remainder of the housepit. The remains of 
conifer boughs (and grass in the large housepit) distinguish the peripheral areas 
as places where people regularly sat and /or lay down. No such area was identi- 
fied in the small structure. 

The only archaeobotanical pattern which is consistent among all three housepits 
is the relative paucity of remains in the center of the floors. The center of each 
structure may have been used equally by all members of each pithouse for com- 
munal events or activities. Given that the clear space is only about three m 2 in the 
small structure, these activities— at least in the case of the smaller structure — could 

not have required much room. 

Thus, in contrast to the predictions of our second hypothesis, there is no evi- 
dence of regular, repeated patterning of archaeobotanical remains which would 
indicate distinct domestic subgroups in any of the housepits. The presence of only 
one major plant processing area in the large and medium-sized structures sug- 
gests that plant processing may have been a communal activity. Further, the rela- 
tively continuous distribution of needles around the peripheries of the larger houses 
does not support the presence of distinct domestic subgroups. The archaeobotanical 



58 



LEPOFSKY ET AL. Vol. 16, No.l 



remains in the small structure indicate limited 



were communal 



Zooarchaeology. 



from 



mains, a 
remains 



remains, followed by the medium-sized housepit. Similarly, 



nal species richness 

accumulation provided ambiguous results with regard to the first hypothesis, with 
the large and small housepits having higher rates than the medium-sized housepit. 
Notably, a number of special types of faunal remains were found only in the large 
housepit. For example, fox, grizzly, bighorn sheep, and rock scallop (a trade item) 



dentalium 



items) were found 



In support of the second hypothesis, and in contrast to the evidence from the 
chaeobotanical remains, the largest house exhibits regular, repeated patterning 
faunal remains. Faunal remains in the large housepit are associated with a num- 



seem 



consumed in four distinct 



remains in the medium 



tions of fish associated with fire-reddened areas and storage pits suggest two ani- 
mal consumption /processing areas within the house. This suggests that activities 
related to the processing and consumption of animals were more communal than 
in the large house. The small housepit has the sunniest oattemin<r with a cinalp 



communal 



remains, suggesting that animal 



/P 



ed on the predictions of our second hypothesis, the four distinct consump 

ocessing areas associated with storage pits and hearths indicate the pres 

four domestic subgroups in the large housepit. These faunal consump 

tion/ processing areas are distinguished from each other by the presence of specia 

faunal items or evidence for distinct types of activities, such as woodworking 

This suggests socioeconomic differences among the four domestic subgroups ir 
the large house. 



CONCLUSIONS 



paleoethnobotanical and zooarchaeological analyses offer some 



socioeconomic 



rus. Based on the density and diversity of both the plant and animal remains 
large housepit was used more intensively and was the site of more diverse ac 
ties than the smaller housepits. The presence of rare faunal items in the 1, 
housepit also sets it apart from the other structures. However, whether this 
terning of plant and animal remains can ultimately be related to status differer 



with 



rger work torce having access to a more diverse resource bas< 
in the length of use of the floor before abandonment cannot 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 59 



The zooarchaeological analyses alone support the hypothesis that larger resi- 
dential housepits exhibit greater internal socioeconomic differentiation than smaller 
structures. The regular, repeated patterning of faunal remains in the large housepit 
indicates that the large structure was divided into distinct domestic subgroups 
which may have been of unequal socioeconomic status. The presence of a number 
of distinct domestic subgroups in the large structure is further supported by the 
repeated occurrence of hearths around the perimeter of the house, and by storage 
pits, clusters of fire-cracked rocks, debitage, stone tools, anvils, and abrading stones 
associated with those hearths. 

How do we reconcile the varying pictures that emerge from the faunal versus 
botanical data concerning internal socioeconomic differentiation within the 
housepits? The patterning of plant remains suggests that internal domestic sub- 
groups within the three structures were not distinct and that housepit activities 
involving plants were undertaken communally. However, it may be that the pres- 
ence of a single, major plant processing area in the largest structure represents the 
specialized use of plants by one domestic subgroup within that house, rather than 
communal use by all inhabitants. This plant processing area is associated with a 
domestic subgroup which, based on the faunal data, appears to have held rela- 
tively high status. Future research should test hypotheses which distinguish be- 
tween these scenarios. 

The distributions of both plant and animal remains among the houses suggest 
that internal domestic subgroups were less pronounced and activities were un- 
dertaken more communally in the smaller structures. Finally, the absence of both 
plant and animal remains in the centers of all three housepit floors suggests that 
the center of each structure was used equally by all members of each pithouse for 

various communal events or activities. 

In this study we examined not only overall species richness from our samples, 
but the pattern of accumulation of species with sample size. This allowed us to 
make inferences regarding taxonomic diversity in each housepit beyond simply 
estimating the total number of species present. Our analyses support the conclu- 
sions of Plog and Hegmon (1993) that species richness in archaeological samples 
should not be treated merely as an artifact of sample size, but as a consequence of 
the combined effects of behavioral processes and sample size. By examining in 
detail the relationship between number of taxa and number of specimens, we are 
able to evaluate better the effects of sample size on our data. Despite the differ- 
ences in sample size among the housepits, we are able to draw conclusions re- 
garding the role of behavior in generating patterns of species diversity. 

This study demonstrates a useful role for combined paleoethnobotanical and 
zooarchaeological analyses in studies of prehistoric social and economic organi- 
zation. Separately, the analyses provide independent lines of evidence which can 
be used to test our hypotheses. Combining the two sets of data allows us to re- 
evaluate and modify our original conclusions. Our analyses of both plant and ani- 
mal remains support the notion that Keatley Creek was occupied by residential 
corporate groups of differing economic and social status. However, the three 
housepits examined here represent less than 3% of the housepits in the village of 
Keatley Creek. A much larger sample of housepits, representative of the range of 



60 



LEPOFSKY ET Ah. Vol. 16, No.l 



housepit sizes, is needed before we can draw more definitive conclusions about 
the prehistoric socioeconomy at Keatley Creek. 



NOTES 



1 Analyses of organic remains from housepit rim and roof deposits, details of faunal and 
floral taphonomy and site formation processes, and a discussion of plant and animal use at 
Keatley Creek as a whole are presented elsewhere (Kusmer 1993a, 1993b; Lepofsky 1993a, 
1993b). Refer to these studies for detailed presentations of the raw data. 



2 Based on modern observations of wood decay 



3 Based on modern observations of wood decay and ethnographic statements (Wilson 
1934:372; McGuire and Schiffer 1983:291; Condrashoff 1980:5). 



4 All identified fish remains at the site are salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), thus all fish in all 
analyses are assumed to be salmon. 



This 



dense in areas where many activities occur. 



6 All data for archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological ANOVAs were transformed before 
analysis using square root transformation for normalizing poisson distributed data. 
Zooarchaeological data for the small and medium housepit remained skewed even after 
transformation. 



We 



length of occupation, differential discard patterns) in addition to intensity of use. Despite 
this, it can be a useful measure of difference between the structures. 



8 The number of taxa in the large (HP 7) and medium housepit (HP 3) are inflated because 

we are unable to go back to many of the original samples and group the unidentifiable 

seeds into like taxa. Since the majority of taxa are represented by only a single specimen, 

this will not significantly alter the analysis. Any biases that are introduced should be par- 
allel in both housepits. 



9 Since we feel the analyzed faunal remains represent well the actual distribution of re- 
mains, we do not need to graphically examine the distribution of bones as we did for the 
plants in Figure 5. Further, the plots in Figure 5 are not well suited to the faunal data. The 
faunal data are represented by many more specimens than taxa, whereas the situation is 
reversed with the floral data. Because of this, the faunal data displays a step function dis- 
tribution when NISP are plotted against NIT. The step function makes it considerably more 
difficult to determine when the graph has leveled off. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



Jim Spafford produced the distribution maps for both sets of data and provided much 
help with various details of the analyses. Funding for the Keatley Creek project was provided 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



61 



by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, the SSHRC Small Grants 
Committee at Simon Fraser University, the B.C. Heritage Trust, and the Simon Fraser 
University Special Research Projects Fund. 



LITERATURE CITED 



ALEXANDER, DIANA. 1992. Environ- 
mental units. Pp. 47-98 in A Complex 
Culture of the British Columbia Plateau. 
Brian Hayden (editor). University of 
British Columbia Press, Vancouver. 

BARTRAM, LAURENCE E., ELLEN M. 
KROLL, and HENRY T. BUNN. 1991. 
Variability in camp structure and bone 
food refuse. Patterning at Kua San 
hunter-gatherer camps. Pp. 77-148 in The 
Interpretation of Archaeological Spatial 
Patterning. Ellen M. Kroll and T. 
Douglas Price (editors). Plenum Press, 
New York. 

BERRY, KEVIN 1992. Prehistoric salmon 
utilization at the Keatley Creek Site in 
the upper Fraser Canyon. Ms. on file 
with the Fraser River Investigations in 
Corporate Group Archaeology Project, 
Archaeology Department, Simon Fraser 
University, Burnaby, B.C. 

CONDRASHOFF, N. 1980. The pithouse. 
Ms., Royal British Columbia Museum, 
Victoria, British Columbia. 

GIFFORD, DIANE P. 1980. Ethno- 
archaeological contributions to the 
taphonomy of human sites. Pp. 93-106 
in Fossils in the Making: Vertebrate 
Taphonomy and Paleoecology. Anna K. 
Behrensmeyer and Andrew P. Hill 
(editors). University of Chicago Press, 

Chicago. 

HANDLEY, MARTIN. 1990. Microdebitage 
analysis at Keatley Creek. Ms. on file 
with the Fraser River Investigations in 
Corporate Group Archaeology Project, 
Archaeology Department, Simon Fraser 
University, Burnaby, B.C. 

HASTORF, CHRISTINE A. 1991. Gender, 
space and food in prehistory. Pp. 132-162 
in Engendering Archaeology Joan M. 
Gero and Magaret W. Conkey (editors). 

Basil Blackwell, Oxford. 
HAYDEN, BRIAN, ED BAKEWELL, and 
ROB GARGETT. 1996. The world's 
longest lived corporate group: lithic 
sourcing reveals prehistoric social 
organization near Lillooet, British 
Columbia. In press, American Antiquity. 



and AUBREY CANNON. 1983. 

Where the refuse goes: refuse disposal 
in the Maya Highlands. Journal of 
Anthropological Archaeology 2:11 7- 1 >. 

, MORLEY ELDRIDGE, ANNE 
ELDRIDGE, and AUBREY CANNON. 
1985. Complex hunter-gatherers in 
interior British Columbia. Pp. 181-199 in 
Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers. T. 
Douglas Price and James A. Brown 
(editors). Academic Press, New York. 

, GREGORY A. REINHARDT, 

DAN HOLMBERG, and DAVID 
CRELLIN. 1992. Space per capita and the 
optimal size of housepits. Ms. on file 
with the Fraser River Investigations in 
Corporate Group Archaeology Project, 
Archaeology Department, Simon Fraser 
University, Burnaby, B.C. 
and JUNE RYDER. 1991. Historic 



cultural collapse in the Lillooet area. 

American Antiquity 56:50-65. 

and JIM SPAFFORD. 1993. The 



Keatley Creek site and corporate group 
archaeology. BC Studies 99:106-139. 
KREBS, CHARLES J. 1989. Ecological 
Methodology. Harper and Row, New 



York. 



KARLA 



cesses at Keatley Creek: faunal analysis. 
Ms. on file with the Fraser River Inves- 
tigations in Corporate Group Archaeol- 
ogy Project, Archaeology Department, 
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. 
1993b. Socioeconomy at Keatley 



Creek: faunal analysis. Ms. on file with 
the Fraser River Investigations in 
Corporate Group Archaeology Project, 
Archaeology Department, Simon Fraser 
University, Burnaby, B.C. 

LEPOFSKY, DANA. 1993a. Formation pro- 
cesses at Keatley Creek: botanical analy- 
sis. Ms. on file with the Fraser River In- 
vestigations in Corporate Group Archae- 
ology Project, Archaeology Department, 
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. 

1993b. Socioeconomy at Keatley 



Ms 



River 



62 



LEPOFSKY ETAL. 



Vol. 16, No.l 



Corporate Group Archaeology Project, 
Archaeology Department, Simon Fraser 
University, Burnaby, B.C. 
MAGURRAN, ANNE E. 1988. Ecological 
Diversity and its Measurement. Croom 
Helm, London. 



MC 



theory of architectural design. Journal 
of Anthropological Archaeology 2:277- 
303. 

MEIDINGER, DEL and JIM POJAR. 1991. 

Ecosystems of British Columbia. 

Province of British Columbia, Victoria. 
MIKSICEK, CHARLES H. 1987. Formation 

processes of the archaeobotanical 

record. Pp. 211-247 in Advances in 

Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 

10. Michael B. Schiffer (editor). 

Academic Press, New York. 
O'CONNELL, JAMES F. 1987. Alyawara 



thesis, Department of Archaeology, 
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. 

STAHL, PETER W. and JAMES A. 
ZEIDLER. 1990. Differential bone-refuse 
accumulation in food-preparation and 
traffic areas on an early Ecuadorian 
house floor. Latin American Antiquity 
1:150-169. 

TEIT, JAMES A. 1900. The Thompson 
Indians of British Columbia. Franz Boas 
(editor). Memoirs of the American 
Museum of Natural History 2(4):163- 
392. New York. 

TURNER, NANCY J. 1992. Plant resources 
of the Fraser River Lillooet people: A 
window into the past. Pp. 405-469 in A 
Complex Culture of the British 
Columbia Plateau. Brian Hayden 
(editor). University of British Columbia 
Press, Vancouver. 



site structure and its archaeological im- WATSON, PATTY 



plications. American Antiquity 52:74- 
108. 

PLOG, STEPHEN and MICHELLE 
HEGMON. 1993. The sample size- 
richness relation: the relevance of 
research questions, sampling strategies, 
and behavioral variation. American 



Antiquity 58:489-496. 



SPAFFORD, 



JIM 



1991. Artifact 



prehistoric subsistence: a comparative 
account of some contemporary flotation 
techniques. Mid-Continental Journal of 
Archaeology 1:77-100 
WILKINSON, L., M. I IILL, S. MICELI, G. 
BIRKENBEOL, and E. VANG. 1992. 
SYSTAT for Windows: Graphics, 
Version 5 Edition. SYSTAT, Inc., 
Evanston, Illinois. 



distributions of housepit floors and WILSON, G. 1934. The 



social organization in housepits at 
Keatley Creek. Unpublished M.A. 



Anthropological Papers of th 
Museum of Natural History 



Journal of Ethnobiology 16(l):63-97 



Summer 1996 



TRADITIONAL MEDICINE AND CONCEPTS OF HEALING 

AMONG SAMBURU PASTORALISTS OF KENYA 



ELLIOT FRATKIN 

Department of Anthropology 

Smith College 
Northampton, MA 01063 



ABSTRACT. — Samburu pastoralists of Kenya, who are closely related to Maasai, 
attribute many illnesses to polluting influences that block internal digestion and 
blood circulation. These pollutants include eating the "wrong" foods, the intro- 
duction of contagious substances from ill people, and the action of sorcery at- 
tacks. Treatment of these health problems is aimed at relieving blockages through 
herbal purgatives and laxatives or, in the case of sorcery, consulting diviners 
(loibottok) who dispense ritually protective medicines. In addition to purgatives 
and ritual medicines, Samburu also use herbal preparations to treat wounds and 
burns, relieve aches, and kill parasites. Samburu treatment of illnesses is pluralis- 
tic. An individual and his or her family may seek the services of herbalists, divin- 
ers, or Western health care providers, depending on proximity, costs, and beliefs 
in causation of the health problem. This article describes Samburu concepts of 
illness, the practices of healing specialists including laibon ritual curers, herbal- 
ists, and midwives, and lists Samburu medicinal plants and their uses. 

RESUMEN.— Los grupos pastoriles samburu y maasai de Kenia atribuyen muchas 
enfermedades a influencias contaminantes que obstruyen internamente la 
digestion y la circulacion de la sangre. Estos contaminantes incluyen el comer 
alimentos "indebidos," la introduction de sustancias contagiosas de personas 
enfermas, y la action de ataques de brujeria. El tratamiento de estos problemas de 
salud esta dirigido a remediar las obstrucciones mediante purgantes y laxantes 
vegetales, o, en el caso de brujeria, mediante la consulta de adivinos (loibonok) 
quienes administran medicinas ritualmente protectoras. Ademas de los purgantes 
y las medicinas rituales, los samburu usan tambien preparaciones de plantas para 
tratar heridas y quemaduras, aliviar dolores y matar parasitos. El tratamiento 



un 



puedan buscar los servicios de especialistas en herbolaria, adivinos, o proveedores 
de cuidado medico woccidental, dependiendo de la proximidad, los costos, y las 
creencias acerca de la causa del problema de salud. Este articulo describe los 

. . . . . « , .. 11 •_!• i. :a~ 



urus 



incluyendo los curanderos rituales laibon, los herbolarios y las parteras, y lista 
las plantas medicinales samburus y sus usos. 

RESUME.— Les Samburu et les Masai, peuples pasteurs du Kenya, attribuent 



iennent 



interne et la circulation sanguine. Ces agents pollueurs comprennent l'ingestion 
de « mauvais » aliments, Introduction de substances contaminees provenant de 



64 



FRATKIN Vol. 16, No.l 



personnes malades et les actions malefiques des sorciers. Les traitements de ces 
problemes de sante visent a degager les obstructions a l'aide de medicaments 
laxatifs et purgatifs a base d'herbes ou, dans les cas de sorcellerie, en consultant 
les devins (libonok) qui dispensent les medicaments rituels protecteurs. En plus 
de medicaments purgatifs et rituels, les Samburu utilisent aussi des preparations 
d'herbes pour soigner les blessures et les brulures, pour soulager la douleur et 
tuer les parasites. Le traitement samburu des maladies est pluraliste dans la mesure 
ou un individu et sa famille peuvent recourir aux services d'herboristes, et de 
devins autant que de dispensateurs de soins de sante occidentaux, selon la dis- 
tance a parcourir pour obtenir les services, les couts et les croyances concernant la 
cause de la maladie. Dans cet article, nous decrivons les concepts samburu relatifs 
aux maladies et les pratiques des specialistes therapeutes y compris les guerisseurs 
rituels laibon, les herboristes et les sages-femmes. Une liste des plantes medicinales 
samburu avec leurs usages complete cet article. 



INTRODUCTION 



The Samburu 



both Maasai (Nilotic-speakers of the Sudanic language family) and Rendille 
(Cushitic-speakers of the Afro-Asiatic family). The Samburu share with the Maasai 
a healing tradition that combines knowledge of herbal medicines (ol-chani; il- 
keek, "trees" in Maa) which are used as purgatives, emetics, analgesics, and salves. 
They also share with the Maasai beliefs and practices in ritual medicines (entasim; 
intasimi in Maa) which are prepared and dispensed by diviner-prophets known 
as laibons {ol-oiboni, il-oibonok). 

In a recent treatment of Maasai conceptions of health and illness, Westerlund 
(1989:179) argues that there is no sharp distinction in African healing between 
__i i._i..# j empirical knowledge, and that most curing activities operate 



continuum 



natural" from "supernatural 



" causation, com 



bimng naturalistic healing with ritual activities. In this same volume, Arhem 
(1989:75) argues that Maasai make no conceptual difference between "supernatu- 
ral" and "natural" illnesses, as both "tree medicine" and ritual medicine "derive 



from 



God." However, Samburu, as well as Maasai, do distinguish 
those illnesses caused "by God alone" {nkai openy) from those due to the mali- 



Maasai) 



human enemy (nkuruporen in Samburu 



a distinction George Foster (1976) contrasted as "naturalistic" versus "per- 
sonalistic" etiology of illness. Determination of an illness' origin is essential to 
prescribe the most appropriate treatment. If an illness is thought to derive from 
"God alone," one seeks treatment from local herbalists or Western health clinics. If 
an illness or misfortune is believed to result from sorcery— infertility, insanity, or 
death by unusual causes— Samburu will consult a laibon diviner/healer to pro- 
tect themselves with ritual medicines. 

The spread of Western health care has not greatly affected traditional beliefs 
about illness among Samburu. While the government of Kenya has expanded 
medical services including vaccination programs and the use of anti-malarials and 
antibiotics, many rural and pastoralist regions remain underserved. The seeking 
of health care by Samburu remains pluralistic, where health providers are selected 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 65 



treatments 



Samburu and Samb 



[975 mainly exploring topics of ecology and economy (e.g. Fratkin 
Fratkin and Roth 1990; Fratkin and Smith 1994, 1995). During my e 
ork, I collected and identified Samburu herbal medicines (Fratkin 
?veloped friendships with several Samburu healers including the I 
Leaduma who adopted me into his family (Fratkin 1979, 1991b). This 
pportunity to discuss Samburu traditional medicine as a whole, in tee 



Samb 



medical 



important discussions of Maasai 



1982; Spear and Waller 1993; Spencer 1988) as well as studies of Maasai beliefs 
about pollution, healing, and divination (Arhem 1989; Berntsen 1979; Galaty 1979; 
Hurskainen 1989; Spencer 1991). Moreover, there are now published inventories 



Samburu 



Merker 1910) who collected and discussed Maasai 



shrubs 



Following a brief description of health problems experienced by the Samburu, 
I discuss Samburu concepts of health and illness, traditional cures employing "tree 
medicine" and ritual medicine, and the role of the traditional healers: the herbal- 
ist, midwife, and laibon. A concluding discussion places Samburu medical beliefs 
and practices in the wider context of African systems of healing. 



HEALTH AND ILLNESS IN SAMBURU 



Most of northern Kenya is too dry for extensive agriculture, and the majority 
of its small populations subsist as pastoralists on the milk, meat, blood, and trade 
of their domestic cattle, camels, goats and sheep. The Samburu (population 80,000), 
who live in the arid plains and highlands of Samburu District, keep mainly cattle 
and small stock (goats and sheep), while their allies and neighbors the Rendille 
(pop. 20,000), keep camels and small stock in the arid lowlands of Marsabit Dis- 
trict (see Figure 1). The Ariaal Rendille (population 7000), with whom I lived for 
most of my fieldwork, are a mixed group of Samburu and Rendille living along 
the Ndoto Mountains separating Marsabit and Samburu Districts and on Mt. 
Marsabit in Marsabit District. The Ariaal are bilingual in both Samburu and Rendille 
but are incorporated in the Samburu age-set and descent-group systems. Although 
they follow certain Rendille customs associated with camel production, they hold 
many Samburu and Maasai beliefs including beliefs in the laibon diviners and 

shared knowledge of plant medicines. 

Closely related to Maasai pastoralists of southern Kenya and Tanzania (popu- 
lation 500,000), Samburu speak a northern dialect of Maa and follow Maasai cus- 
toms of named age-set organization (with distinct age-grades of boys, warriors, 
and male elders), marriage practices (including female circumcision, polygyny, 
and levirate inheritance of widows), acephalous and autonomous village struc- 
ture, and shared religious beliefs which includes a distant creator god (en'gai in 



66 



FRATKIN 



Vol. 16, No.l 



FIGURE 1. — Location of Samburu in Kenya. 




SUDAN 




ETHIOPIA 




• .-• 



/ 



rfffi 



••••v 



/\ 



.vv 



• -" • 



• - « 



».-• 






^ 






• .-» 



>-** 



GABRA 




I 



TURKANA 



•- • 



•." • 



••'•.-• 



f.'«- 



• --• 



• - • 



•/• 



••• 



• *"•. 



•-••1 



u 



» 



L. TURKANA 



BORAN 



/ 



I 



• _*• 



/ 






^ 



*>V 






UGANDA 



MT. NYIR 



i RENDILLE f„ marsabit 



SOMALI 



i 



; 



ARIAAL 



/ 



OOTO MTNS 





SAMBURU 



< 



MARALEL 



LUHYA 



MATHEW 'S 
RANGE 
MTNS 




< 



0*&° 



rt\*° 




I 



o 



^. _ — • 



-1 



MT. KENYA 



KIKUYU 



MAASAI 



TANZANIA 



o 

b 



100 




Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 67 



Maasai; nkai in Samburu) without defined ancestors or spirits. However Samburu 
do have strong beliefs in the power of living elders 7 curses, as well as traditions of 
divination, prophesy, and beliefs in sorcery (Spencer 1965, 1973, 1988). 



Samburu, Maasai 



illnesses 



among Bantu-speaking farmers 



ers of deceased ancestors and in which cures are effected through human spiri 
mediums (m'ganga, wa'ganga) who combine herbal medicines with songs, drum 
ming, and dance performances (Janzen 1992). 

However, Samburu and Maasai possess an elaborate healing tradition basec 
on the use of herbal medicines. Among Samburu, over one hundred and twent) 
species of trees and shrubs are employed as purgatives, emetics, analgesics, poul 
tices, and salves (see Table 1). Many plants used by the Samburu are toxic and an 
used as emetics and diarrhetics, as Samburu medicinal cures are aimed at cleans 
ing the body of polluting influences. 

Access to Western health care is not widely available in the underpopulatec 
regions of northern Kenya where the Samburu live. The government maintains i 
hospital in the capital of Maralal, and the Catholic Diocese a hospital in Wamba 
while most towns have small clinics maintained by Catholic and Protestant mis 
sions which are staffed by missionary and local nurses. Because the majority o 
Samburu live in semi-nomadic settlements distant from these towns, visits to clin 



ics and hospitals are rare and usually only for serious and life threatening 

(Nathan et al, 1996). 

The major health problems experienced by Samburu, as with most n 
can populations, are infectious diseases including malaria, pneumonia, £ 
teritis, diarrhea, measles, and whooping cough. Gonorrhea and other sexua 
mitted diseases are widesoread. While the incidence of HIV infection a 



in Samburu and Marsabit 



Samburu 



livestock herding. Internal and external parasites (mites, ticks, scabies), fungal 



infections, anthrax and brucellosis combine 
?nts including lacerations, burns, embedded thorns, animal 
:tures and dislocations (Nathan et al 1996). The health probl 
compounded by nutritional stresses, particularly during per 
uehts when milk supplies are low and animals are too emacia 



ms of Samburu 



rains (Galvin et al 1994). Milk is the main food in both Samburu 



in 



seasons people rely on meat, blood, and grains, with tea and sugar acquired from 
trading livestock. Poor families are the most vulnerable to prolonged drought and 
may move (temporarily or permanently) to towns to receive famine-relief foods. 
Settled pastoralists face increased malnutrition due to the reduced consumption 
of milk, meat and blood and reliance on maize meal as the only food source. While 
medical care is improving, particularly with immunization campaigns against 
measles, polio, and diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT), these services are still ir- 
regular and distantly based in the rural pastoral regions. For many ailments, rural 
Samburu depend on their local healers and traditional medicines (see Table 2). 



TABLE l.-Samburu Medicinal Plants and Their Uses. 



ON 
00 



Samburu Name 



l-aarami 



l-abaai 



l-aishimi 



l-aimiironyai 



l-akirding'ai 
l-amai 
l-ampurrorri 
l-amuriei 



l-aramirami 



larasoro 
l-asaremai 



l-aturdei 



lauragi 
l-bolan 



l-bukoi 



l-cheni ng'iro 



l-ching'ei 
I'dalampoi 



Scientific Name and 
Identification 



Cistanche tubulosa 

(Schenk.) Hook. 
Psiadia arabica Jaub. 

and Spach 
Commiphora africana (A 

Rich) Engl. 
Maytenus senegalensis 

(Lam.) Exell 
Croton dichogamus Pax 
Ximenia caff r a Sond. 
Commiphora sp. 
Carissa edulis (Forsk.) 

Vahl 
Senecio petitianus A. 

Rich 
Cadaba farinosa Forsk. 
Harrisonia abyssinica 



Capparis elaegnoides 
(Gilg.) de Wolf 
Sansevieria sp. 

Plectranthusforskholii 
(Poir.) Briq. 

Momordica spinosa (Gilg) 
Chiov. 

Commiphora africana (A. 

Rich.) Engl. 
Euclea divinorum Hiern. 
Entada leptostachya Harms 



Scientific 
Family 



OROBANCHACEAE 



COMPOSITAE 



BURSERACEAE 



CELASTRACEAE 



EUPHORBIACEAE 
OLEACEAE 
BURSERACEAE 
APOCYNACEAE 



COMPOSITAE 



CAPPARIDACEAE 
SIMAROUBACEAE 



CAPPARIDACEAE 



AGAVACEAE 
LABIATAE 



CUCURBITACEAE 



BURSERACEAE 



EBENACEAE 
MIMOSACEAE 



Specimen Numbers 



KNMUS/H250/59.-133 



KNMUS/H133/75:39 



Heine et al 1988:55 



Heine et al 1988:56 



KNMUS/H133/75:25 

KNMUS/H250/59:47 
KNMUS/H250/59.-1 1 

KNMUS/H133/75:37 



KNMUS/H250/59.-152 



KNMUS/H133/75:72 
KNMUS/H133/75.46 



KNMUS/H133/75.32 



KNMUS/H250/59:53 
Heine et al 1988:68 



KNMUS/H250/59:168 



KNMUS/H250/59:122 



KNMUS/H133/75:36 
KNMUS/H250/59:34 



Medicinal Uses 



childbirth 



burns, ticks 



diarrhea 



arthritis 



malaria, chest, stomach 
stomach 

liver, stomach 

polio, gonorrhea 



strength for baby 



fever, ritual 
gonorrhea, malaria, 
chest congestion 
wounds, burns 



gonorrhea 
childbirth 



headaches, 
hepatitis 
diarrhea, stomach 



diarrhea, stomach 
polio, back pain 



£ 



On 

z 

o 



Samburu Name 



l-depe 



l-dupai 
lekule 



lekuru 



leminshiria 



I e pur ana 

lerai 

lesayyet 



letuala 
l-gweita 



l-jipilikua 
l-karasha 



1-kaukawa 
l-kelelit 



l-kerdeedi 

(l-terikesi) 

l-kiloriti 

Ukimanshoi 

l-kinoi 



Scientific Name and 
Identification 



l-dawa lenkop 



Melhania ovata (cav.) 
Spreng. 

Acacia nubica Benth. 



Sansevieria robusta N.E. Br. 
Euphorbia systyloides 
Pax. 

Withania somnifera (L.) 
Dunal 

Combrctum aculeatum Vent 



Jatropha die tar Macbr. 
Acacia hockii de Wild. 

Withania somnifera (L.) 
Dunal 

Crotalaria mama L. 

Cordia sinensis Lam. 



Strychnos sp. 

Stericulia africana 

(Lour.) Fiori 

Oxyanthus speciosus DC. 

Euphorbia heterochrony 
Pax 

Acacia Senegal (L.) 
WilkL 

Acacia nilotica (L.) Del. 
Hibiscus greemvayi Bak. f 

Lannea alota (Engl.) Engl. 



Scientific 
Family 



STERCULIACEAE 



MIMOSACEAE 



AGAVACEAE 
EUPHORBIACEAE 



SOLANACEAE 



COMBRETACEAE 



EUPHORBIACEAE 
MIMOSACEAE 

SOLANACEAE 



PAPILIONACEAE 
BORAGINACEAE 



LOGAN1ACEAE 
STERCULIACEAE 



RUBIACLAE 
EUPHORBIACEAE 



MIMOSAC I Al 



MIMOSACEAE 

MALVACEAE 

ANACARDIACEAE 



Specimen Numbers 



KNMUS/H250/59:114 



KNMUS/H133/75:58 



Heine etal 1988:75 

KNMUS/H250/59:163 



Heine et al 1988:81 



KNMUS/H304/74& 

56/75-4 

KNMUS/H133/75-.41 

KNMUS/H133/75:43 
KNMUS/H250/59:27 



KNMUS/H250/59:105 
KNMUS/H304/74& 

56/75-2 
KNMUS/H250/59:38 
KNMUS/H250/59:66 



Heine et al. 1988:96 
KNMUS/H250/59:138 



KNMUS/H250/59:169 



KNMUS/H 133/75:64 
KNMUS/ 1 1250/59:2 
KNMUS/H250/59:115 



Medicinal Uses 



wounds, burns 



women's stomach 
pain, hepatitis, fever, 
gonorrhea 
gonorrhea, arthritis 
wounds 



eyes, burns, wounds 



malaria, gonorrhea, 
stomach, back pains 
stomach, chest 
stomach, childbirth 
ritual fires 



chest, coughs 
fractures, ritual 



malaria, wounds 
children's stomach 



sore throat 
malaria, gonorrhea 



abortion, stomach 



stomach 
colds 
wounds, burns, 

stomach 



en 

e 

3 

3 
!3 

•1 



ON 



o 

c 

2 

> 




O 
m 




c 




^ 






Samburu Name Scientific Name and 

Identification 



l-kinyil 



l-kiriantus 

l-kitalaswa 
l-kukulai 



l-maim 



l-makutukuti 



l-mang'wei 



l-marag 
l-margweet 



l-masikirai 



mtra a 

l-miskiyei 

l-momoi 

l-morijioi 



l-mugutan 



l-murgusyan 



l-ng'alayoi 



l-ng'erriyei 
l-ng'iriai 



Rhamnus prinoides 

UHerit. 
Plumbago zeylanica L. 
Myrica salicifolia A. Rich 
Rhamnus staddo A. Rich. 



Commiphora sp. 



Clerodendrum myricoides 



Sclerocan/a birrea (A. 

Rich.) Hochst. 
Blcpharis lineariifolia Pers 
Croton megalocarpus 

Hutch. 
Heliotropium steudneri 

Vatke 
Calha edulis (Vahl) Endl. 
Rhus natalensis Krauss 
Kigelia uclhiopica Decne 
Acokanthera longiflora 

Stapf. 
Albizia anthelmintic** 

Brongn. 
Gardenia jovis-tonantis 

(Welw.) Hiern 
Possibly Cissus sp/ 



OIca africana Mill. 
Lawsonia incrmis L. 



Scientific 
Family 



RHAMNACEAE 



PLUMBAGINACEAE 

MYRICACEAE 
RHAMNACEAE 



BURSERACEAE 



VERBENACEAE 



ANACARD1ACEAE 



ACANTHACEAE 
EUPHORBIACEAE 



BORAGINACEAE 



CELASTRACEAE 
ANACARDIACEAE 
BIGNON1ACEAE 
APOCYNACEAE 



MIMOSACEAE 



RUBIACEAE 



VITACEAE 



OLEACEAE 
LYTHRACEAE 



Specimen Numbers 



KNMUS/H250/59:224 



KNMUS/H133/75.69 

KNMUS/H250/59-.207 

KNMUS/H133/75:49 



KNU/H200/83585 



KNMUS/H133/75:44 



Heine et al. 1988:113 



KNMUS/H250/59:141 
KNMUS/H133/75:25 



KNMUS/H304/74 & 
56/75:5 

Heine et al 1988:118 

KNMUS/H133/75:38 
KNMUS/H250/59.-8I 
KNMUS/H133/75:65 



KNMUS/H250/595 



KNMUS/H250/59:107 



KNMUS/H250/59:89 



Heine et al. 1988:123 
KNMUS/H133/75:60 



Medicinal Uses 



vi 



fever, malaria, 

snakebites 

stomach, malaria 

strength 

polio, gonorrhea, 

malaria, colds, 
ritual protection 

polio, gonorrhea, 
arthritis 

gonorrhea, malaria, 
polio, abortions, colds, 
headache 
stomach, colds 



malaria 

stomach, malaria, 
fever, chest 

fleas 



stimulant 
children's stomach 
stomach 
arrow poison 



malaria, tapeworms, 
gonorrhea, stomach 
malaria 



strength, gonorrhea, 
cough, headache 
tapeworms 
stomach 



■n 



Z 



$ 



ON 

Z 

o 



Samburu Name 



loduaporoo 



loimugi 



loisugi 



loitaakitte 
laitokutok 
lokildia 



lokii 



lokumoati 



lokiteng'i 

loliontoi 

lolscsyai 



lor or at 



lortlo 



Itnvwai 



l-paraa 



l-perentai 



l-paramunyo 

l-turakwai 



Scientific Name and 
Identification 



Commicarpus plumbaghuus 

(Cav.) Standi. 
Newton in hildebramtlii 

Vatke. 

Fagara chalybea (Engl.) 
Ingl. 

Mncntti triphylla A. Rich. 
Commiphora sp. 

Tinned aethiopica Kotschy 

& Peyr. 

Lycium europaeum L 
Vcrnonm brachycalyx O. 

Hoffm. 

Ipomoea spathulata Hall f. 

Olca hochstcttcri Baker 

Osi/ns abyssiif/Ki A. 
' Rich. 

Boscw an^uslifolia A. 

Rich. 

Cyphostemma adem aule 

(A.Kuh.)Willd.&Drum. 

Balanites aegyptiacc (L.) 

Del. 

Euphorbia sp. 

Adatium obesum (I orsk.) 

Roem & S huh 
Toddalia asiatica (I .) Lam. 
Juniperus pnxera Hixhst. 

ex Fndl. 



Scientific 
Family 



Specimen Numbers 



NYCTAGINACEAH 



COMPOSITAE 



RUTACEAE 



CAPPARIDACEAE 
BURSERACEAE 

LABIA I AH 



SOI AN AC I Al 



COMPOSITAf 



CONVOl VULACEAE 
OLEACEAE 
SANTALAC i:AE 



CAPPARIDACEAE 



\ I I ACE AE 



BALANITACEAE 



EUPHOKBIACFAE 



APCXYNACI AE 



RLI M EAE 
CUPRI SSACEA1 



' Heine ei al. (1988:122) identify this asCsiotiww sp (CUCURBITAC 1 AE). 



Heine et al 1988:127 



KNMUS/H250/59:42 



KNMUS/H250/59:67 



KNMUS/H133/75:34 
KNMUS/H250/59:12D 
KNMUS/H 1^/75:28 



KNMUS/H250/59:4 



KNMUS/U 133/75:68 



KNMUS/HHV75:33 
Heine ct al 1988:141 
Heine el al 1988:154 



KNMUS/H304/74 A 
56/75:16 

k\MUS/H133/75:47 



KNU/H2iK)/83:873 



KNMUS/H250/?W:55 



KNMUS/H304/74& 

56/75:9 
KNML S HI MT M) 
KNMUS/H250/ 1S6 



Medicinal Uses 



malaria, earache, 

headache 

stomach 



chest congestion, 
sore throat 
wounds, burns 

hepatitis, fractures 
ritual 



malaria, rheumatism, 

swelling ol breast 

eye infections 



eyes 

tapeworms, stomach 

pregnancy, 
swollen breasts 
malaria 



tuberculosis, arthritis 



wounds, hurrfe 
eves, ribs, chest 
v unds. bunv 
malaria 




•.• 



>n 



tren^th, ritual ntasim 
sore thn^at 



3 
3 






O 

c 




> 




o 




v. 

z 



■< 



^j 



Samburu Name 



l-tepes 



l-terikesi 

(l-kerdedi) 

l-teroi 

l-tigomi 



l-tulelei 



l-turkan 



n-aiba layyok 
n-dupai 



ng atng aiptapi 



ng'elai orok 



n-kaiteteyyai 
n-keju nkitejo 
ng'ilai orok 



n-kilenyei 
n-kunee 



■ t 



nytrtman 



• . • 



raraitt 



reteti 



sakurdumi 



Scientific Name and 
Identification 



Scientific 
Family 



Specimen Numbers 



Acacia tortilis (Forsk.) 
Hayne 

Acacia Senegal (L.) 

Willd. 
Commiphora sp. 
Cardiospermum corindum L 



Solarium incanum L. 



Sericocompsis pallida (S. 

Moore) Schinz 
Solatium renschii Vatke. 
Sansevieria robusta N.E. Br 
Euphorbia uhligiana Pax 



(unidentified) 



Vepris eugenifolia 
(Engl.) Verdoorn 

Commelina imberbis 
Portulaca sp. 
Vepris eugeniifolia 

(Engl.) Verdoorn 
Syzgium cor datum Hochst. 
Cissus sp. 

Hildebrantia sepalosa 
Kalanchoe diesiflorum 

Rolfe. 
Ficus wakefieldii Hutch. 



Kedrostis gijef 

(J.F.Gmel) C. Jeffrey 



MIMOSACEAE 



MiMOSACEAE 



BURSERACEAE 
SAPINDACEAE 



SOLANACEAE 



AMARANTHACEAE 



SOLANACEAE 

AGAVACEAE 

EUPHORBIACEAE 



RUTACEAE 



COMMELINACEAE 

PORTULACACEAE 

RUTACEAE 



MYRTACEAE 
VITACEAE 
CONVOLVULACEAE 
CRASSULACEAE 



MORACEAE 



CUCURBITACEAE 



KNMUS/H304/74 & 

56/75:18 
Heine et al. 1988:123 



Heine et al 1988:167 
KNMUS/H133/75:62 



KNMUS/H304/74 & 

56/75:6 
KNMUS/H133/75:42 



Heine et al 1988:180 

KNMUS/H250/59:92 
KNMUS/H250/59:94 



KNMUS/H133/75:70 



KNMUS/H250/59:57 

KNMUS/H250/59:117 

KNMUS/H250/59:84 



Heine et al 1988:195 
Heine et al 1988:198 
Heine et al 1988:201 
KNMUS/H250/59:25 



KNMUS/H133/75:29 



KNMUS/H133/75:61 



Medicinal Uses 



malaria, fever, 
polio, colds 
stomach 



polio, rheumatism 

malaria, polio, 

snakebites 

sore throat, polio, 

fever, wounds 

malaria 



stomach 

gonorrhea, rheumatism 

malaria, chest colds, 

stomach 

warrior's strength 

nemunyi 

hepatitis 



children's coughs 

burns 

sore throat, hepatitis 



strength 






T1 



z 



eyes, arthritis 
stomach 




wounds, stomach 


i 


ritual, women's 


• 


ntasim 


ON 


malaria, stomach 


Z 

o 



Samburu Name 



sarat 
seketeti 



senatoi 



serai 



# • • a 



sen j tot 
silalei 



silipani 
simalelei 
sinandei 
siteli 



sokoltei 



sokotei 



sokoni 



such a 



sukoroi 
sukurtuli 



sunont 



Scientific Name and 
Identification 



Balanites sp. 
Myrsine africana L. 



Cassia longiracemosa 
Vatke. 

Euphorbia candelabrum 

Kotschy 
Boscia coriacea Pax 

Boswellia hildebrandtii 

Engl. 
Cordia sinensis Lam. 
unidentified 

Cassia longiracemosa Vatke 
Greivia bicolor A. Juss. 



Phytolacca dodecandra 

* L'Herit. 
Salvadora persica L. 



Warburgia ugandensis 
Sprague 

Barleria spinisepala E.A. 

Bruce 
Aloe secundipara Engl. 

Cissus quadrangular is L. 
l.ippia ukambensis Vatke 



Scientific 
Family 



Specimen Numbers 



BALANITACEAE 
MYRSINACEAE 



CAESALPINIACEAE 



EUPHORBIACEAE 



CAPPARIDACEAE 
BURSERACEAE 



BORAGINACEAE 



CAHSAI IMNIACEAE 
TILIACEAE 



PHYTOLACCACEAE 



SALVADORACEAE 



CANELLACEAE 



ACANTHACEAE 



LILIACEAE 
V I TACEAE 



VERHENACEAE 



KNMUS/H250/59:131 
KNMUS/H250/59:153 



KNMUS/H304/74 & 
56/75:12 

KNMUS/H250/59:75 



Heine et al. 1988:215 
KNMUS/H250/59:127 



Heine <'/,//. 1988:219 



Heme eta. 1988:220 

KNMUS/H304/74& 

56/75:22 
KNMUS/H250/59-.157 



KNMUS/H250/59:100 



KNMUS/H223/75:6 



KNMUS/1 1133/75:40 



KNMUS/ 11133/75:30 
KNMUS/H250/59:51 



KNMUS/H133/75:26 



Medicinal Uses 



eyes, stomach 
tapeworms, malaria, 
tuberculosis 
malaria, stomach, 

headache 

chest, bronchitis, 
headache, barrenness 
malaria, burns 
chest, headache, ribs, 

diarrhea 

chest, pneumonia 

women's stomach 

malaria 

coughs, soreness 

after childbirth 

stomach, 

childbirth 

malaria, fever, 

abortion, childbirth 

stomach, diarrhea, 

tuberculosis, chest 

polio, fever, ritual 

ntasim 

eyes, tuberculosis 

malaria, stomach, 
tuberculosis 

measles, malaria, 
smallpox, strength 







-I 



ON 



O 

c 




> 

o 




z 

o 

us 



o 





*< 



2 



74 



FRATKIN 



Vol 16, No.l 



TABLE 2. SAMBURU MEDICINAL CURES BY LOCATION OF SYMPTOMS 



Location/ 

Symptoms Herbal Medicine 



Preparation 



The chest (l-go 'o) 

Cough, colds (l-chetna) 

l-margweet 

(Croton megalocarpus) 
l-kimanshoi 

(Hibiscus greenwayi) 

letuala (Crotalaria incana) 

curry powder or red pepper 

Bronchitis and pneumonia (nkanyaragi) 

sokoni (Warburgia ugandensis) 
nemunyi (Euphorbia sp.) 
silalei (Boswellia hildebrandtii) 
silipani (Cordia sinensis) 
lowwai (Balanites sp J 



boil bark as tea 



chew bark 



chew outer layer of root 
add to tea 



boil bark and root 

boil bark in soup 

chew bark 

boil gum in water, add milk 

boil gum in water, add milk 



Chest congestion believed due to poisonous substances 



l-asaremai 

(Harrisonia abyssinica) 
l-makutukuti 

(Clerodendrum myricoides) 
l-ng'alayoi (Cissus sp.) 
loisugi (Fagara chalybea) 
l-akirding'ai 

(Croton dichogamus) 
lepurana (Jatropha dictar) 
sukurtuti 

(Cissus quadrangular is) 



boil roots, stems as soup 
boil roots, add milk, sugar 



boil roots, add fat as soup 

boil tuber roots in milk and drink 

boil roots in water, prepare as tea 



boil roots as tea 
stew root 



Children's coughs (treated with milder purgatives) 



n-kaiteteyyai 

(Commelina imberbis) 



pound stalk, boil and add milk 



Tuberculosis (shurr) 



seketeti (Myrsine africana) 



sukoroi (Aloe secundiflora) 
sokoni (Warburgia ugandensis) 
Pneumonia (l-marei or "ribs") 

silalei (Boswellia hildebrandtii) 



crush berries or seeds, boil in water 

or soak and drink cold 
stew roots, take as enema 
soak bark and roots, boil as tea 



lordo 



(Cyphostemma adenocaule) 
lepurana (Jatropha dictar) 



mix resin with silipani (Cordia 

sinensis) bar, add pepper and 

soda ash 
Mix with blood and stalks 

of nkunee (Cissus sp.) as soup 
boil roots with sokoni (Warburgia 

ugandensis) roots and bark 



The stomach (Ngosheke) 
Upset stomach 



l-kiloriti (Acacia nilotica) 
sakurdumi (Kedrostis gijef) 



boil bark as soup 

boil roots, mix with l-ng'iriai 

(Lawsonia inermis) leaves, as 

enema or tea 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



75 



Location/ 

Symptoms Herbal Medicine 



Preparation 



l-kukulai (Rhamnus staddo) 
l-amai (Ximenia caffra) 
l-akirding'ai 

(Croton dichogamus) 
l-ampurrorri (Commiphora sp.) 
lepurana (Jatropha dictar) 
lerai (Acacia hockii) 
leminshiria 

(Combretum aculeatum) 
loimugi 

(Newtonia hildebrandtii) 
l-mang'wei (Sclerocarya birrea) 



boil root and drink 
boil bark add milk 
boil roots add tea 



soak bark in cold water and drink 
boil roots, drink 
boil roots as tea 
soak roots in water 



boil bark and drink 



l-mugutan 

(Albizia anthelmintica) 
l-momoi (Kigelia aethiopica) 
raraiti (Kalanchoe diesiflorum) 
sokoltei 

(Phytolacca dodecandra) 
sokotei (Salvadora persica) 
l-terikesi (Acacia Senegal) 
l-turkan (Sericocompsis pallida) 



stew bark in water, add milk or 

boil 
boil bark, wood, or root and add 

milk 
soak bark, drink cold 
stew root, drink cold 
stew root, drink cold 



boil roots and drink 
boil bark and drink 
boil roots and drink 



Congested blood vessels around the stomach (ng'ony) 



ching'ei (Euclea divinorum) 
l-kiriantus 

(Plumbago zeylanica) 



boil roots and drink 
boil roots as tea 



Nausea 



l-kiloriti (Acacia nilotica) 
l-mang'wei (Sclerocarya birrea) 



soak bark in water and drink cold 
boil bark in tea 



Menstruation, "women's stomach 

nyeritnan 

(Hildebrantia sepalosa) 
sitnalelei (unidentified) 
l-depe (Acacia nubica) 



stew roots as soup 

boil tuberous roots, add milk 



and 



drink 



Diarrhea, "children's stomach" (airi) 

l-cheni ng'iro 

(Commiphora africana) 

l-aishitni 

(Commiphora africana 
l-tniskiyei (Rhus natalensis) 

l-karasha (Stericulia africana) 

Intestinal worms 

l-mugutan 

(Albizia anthelmintica) 
Ung'erriyei (Olea africana) 



soak bark in tea 



soak bark in tea 



soak leaves, roots in water, drink 

cold 
boil roots 



boil bark, roots, and 
wood, add milk 

soak bark in water 30 minutes, boil, 
let sit 12 hours, drink cold 



76 



FRATKIN 



Vol. 16, No.l 



Location/ 
Symptoms 



Herbal Medicine 



seketeti (Myrsine africana) 



The Head (nkue) 



Headache 



l-ng'alayoi (Cissus spj 



l-makutukuti 

(Clerodendrum myricoides) 
silalei (Boszvellia hildebrandtii) 



l-bukoi (Momordia spinosa) 
Sinus congestion (Ichema lenkue) 

sokoni (Warburgia itgandensis) 
mira'a (Catha edulis) 

Sore throat (Igoso) 

l-kaukawa 

(Oxyanthus speciosus) 
ng'elai orok (Vepris eugenifolia) 
l-tulelei (Solarium incanum) 



l-tarakwai (Juniperus procera) 



Eyes (nkonjek) 



l-ng'alayoi (Cissus sp.) 



sukoroi (Aloe secundiflora) 



lokiteng'i (Ipomoea spathulata) 



lokumaati 

lozvwai (Balanites sp.) 



The Liver (eminyua) 



l-depe (Acacia nubica) 



sukurtuti 

(Cissus quadrangular is) 



Hepatitis (ndis) 



l-depe (Acacia nubica) 



ng'elai orok (Vepris eugenifolia) 
l-kiloriti (Acacia nilotica) 
loitokutok (Commiphora spj 
l-bukoi (Momordica spinosa) 

Fractures and dislocations 

Limbs are set using branches of 

l-gweita (Cordia sinensis) 



seketeti (Myrsine africana) 



Preparation 



crush berries, drink with milk 



soak bark several days, ingest 

through nose 
grind roots and sniff through nose 



place resinous gum near fire, 
inhale fumes through nose 
peel bark, add to sheep brain soup 



boil roots and bark as tea 
chew bark 



soak bark in cold water and drink 



chew leaves 

peel root, stew and gargle, or chew 

peeled root 
soak bark in cold water and drink 



grind roots and soak in water, snuff 

through nose 
place drops of sap in eyes, later 

wash 
wash eyes with leaves soaked in 

water 

soak leaves in water, wash eyes 
place resinous gum in eyes, wash 
out 



peel bark, soak in water, drink as 

tea 
stew root in water and drink cold; 

avoid sheep meat 

soak bark in water over night, heat 

and drink cold 
soak leaves, mix with bark and tea 
boil bark as soup 
boil bark as tea 
boil bark as tea, fat, and liver 



held together by the resinous gum 
of l-tepes (Acacia tortilis), lowwai 
(Balanites sp.) and loitokutok 
(Commiphora sp.) 

crush berries or seed, drink as tea 
for "strength" 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



77 



Location/ 

Symptoms Herbal Medicine 



Wounds and burns 



l-jipilikua (Stryclmos spj 



l-kinoi (Lannea alota) 
l-aturdei 

(Capparis elaegnoides) 
loitaakine (Maerua triphylla) 
lowwai (Balanites sp.) 
l-paraa (Euphorbia sp.) 



Burns 



l-kiloriti (Acacia nilotica) 



l-dazva lenkop 

(Melhania ovata) 

n-keju nkitejo (Portulaca sp.) 
l-abaai (Psiadia arabica) 
lekuru (Withania somnifera) 



Skin rashes 



l-tulelei (Solatium incanum) 



Muscular-skeletal aches (l-bai) 

l-dalampoi 



(Entada leptostachya) 
l-depe (Acacia nubica) 
l-dupai (Sansevieria robusta) 



l-aimuronyai 

(Maytenus senegalensis) 
lauragi (Sansevieria sp.) 

leminshiria 

(Combretum aculeatum) 
l-makutukuti 

(Clerodendrum myricoides) 



To relieve swelling 



lokii (Lycium europaeum) 
l-teroi (Commiphora sp.) 

lordo 

(Cyphostemma adenocaule) 



Malaria (nkirewa) 



l-ching'ei (Euclea divinorum) 



l-asaremai 

(Harrisonia abyssinica) 
loduaporoo (Commicarpus 

plumbagineus) 
lowwai (Balanites sp.) 
l-makutukuti (Clerodendrum 

myricoides) 



Preparation 



dry and grind root, place on cut to 

dry 
apply red surface of roots 
grind outer root, apply to cuts 



chew leaves, place on wound 
heat gum and place on wound 
place sap on wound 



boil bark or chew leaves and apply 

to burn 
grind leaf into paste with water, 

or chew leaf and apply to burn 

chew leaf and place on burn 
burn leaves, sprinkle ash on burns 
dry root and grind, sprinkle on 
burn 



boil peeled root and place on skin 



soak root in water, soup, or tea 



soak bark overnight and drink 
warm leaves, squeeze and drink 

juice 
boil roots in soup and drink 



boil root, add milk 

soak roots overnight, add milk 



soak roots and drink 



boil root, let sit and drink cold 
boil bark and stew leaves, add milk 
boil leaves with n-kunee (Cissus 
sp.), mix with blood, eat 



soak roots with sunoni (Lippia 
ukambensis) twigs and goat's 
meat and drink; or boil stems 
and leaves, add milk 

boil roots as soup 



boil roots as tea 



boil bark as tea 
boil roots as tea 



78 



FRATKIN 



Vol. 16, No.l 



Location/ 

Symptoms Herbal Medicine 



Preparation 



l-marag (Blepharis lineariifolia) 



l-mugutan 

(Albizia anthelmintica) 
l-murgusyan (Gardenia 

jovis-tonantis) 
nyeritnan 

(Hildebrantia sepalosa) 
l-paraa (Euphorbia sp.) 
sinandei (Cassia 

longiracemosa) 
serijioi (Boscia coriacea) 
l-turkan (Sericocompsis pallida) 



stew whole plant in water, add 
milk 

boil roots and bark in tea 



boil fruit and drink cold 



stew roots 



stew leaves 
stew leaves 



boil roots, add milk 
boil roots 



Measles (l-tipu) 



sunoni (Lippia ukambensis) 



boil leaves, stem, drink milk, 



butter, and animal fat 



Smallpox (l-pepedo) 



rub skin with fat from the monitor lizard 



Polio (nkurotet) 



l-kukulai (Rhamnus staddo) 
latnuriei (Carissa edulis) 
l-tnakutukuti (Clerodendrum 

myricoides) 
sucha (Barleria spinisepala) 
l-dalampot (Entada 

leptostachya) 
l-depe (Acacia nubica) 
l-maim (Commiphora sp J 
leminshiria (Combretum 

aculeatum) 
l-tepes (Acacia tortilis) 
l-teroi (Commiphora sp J 



boil root 

boil root, add milk 

boil roots 



boil whole plant 

soak root in water, soup, or tea 



soak bark in water 
boil bark in water 
boil roots 



boil bark 

stew leaves, boil bark 



Gonorrhea (kisunono) 



l-mugutan (Albizia 

anthelmintica) 
l-dupai (Sansevieria robust a) 
l-tnakutukuti (Clerodendrum 

myricoides) 
l-depe (Acacia nubica) 
l-kelelit (Euphorbia 

heterochroma) 
l-kukulai (Rhamnus staddo) 
l-amuriei (Carissa edulis) 
leminshiria (Combretum 

aculeatum) 

l-asaremai (Harrisonia 
abyssinica) 

l-makutukuti (Clerodendrum 

myricoides) 
l-mugutan (Albizia 



boil root, bark, leaves, mix 
with sheep fat as enema 
enema, as above 
enema, as above 



soak bark in water 12 hours 
burn stems in fire to remove white 

gum, prepare in fat soup 
boil root 

boil root, add milk 
soak roots in water, add milk 



boil branches and roots as tea 



boil roots 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



79 



Location/ 

Symptoms Herbal Medicine 



anthclmintica) 
For difficulties in passing urine 



lauragi (Sansevieria sp.) 
l-dupai (Sansevieria robusta) 



l-makutukuti (Clerodendrum 
myricoides) 



Pregnancy and childbirth 
Upset stomach 



l-miskiyei (Rhus natalensis) 



nyeriman (Hildebrantia 
sepalosa) 



Soreness after delivery 



siteti (Grewia bicolor) 



Swelling in the breasts 



lokii (Lycium europaeum) 



lolsesyai (Osyris abyssinica) 



Problems urinating 



l-aarami (Cistanche tubulosa) 



Strength for mother 



l-bolan (Plectranthus forskholii) 



Strength for baby 



l-aratnirami (Senecio petitianus) 



Abortion (airony) or retained placenta (tnudong) 

makutikuti (Clerodendrum 

myricoides) 
l-terikesi (Acacia Senegal) 

sokotei (Salvadora persica) 



For soreness following abortion 

l-terikesi (Acacia Senegal) 
siteti (Grewia bicolor) 



Preparation 



boil bark and roots, add milk 



boil root, add milk 

boil roots and inner stem in sheep's 

fat as enemaFor women 
boil roots as enema, add above 



soak leaves and roots in water, 

drink 
boil roots in soup and drink 



boil berries in water five hours, 
add milk and drink 



mix leaves and stem, boil roots, let 

sit and drink cold 
burn wood, hold smoking ember 

near breasts rubbed with goat's fat 



boil root in water, add milk and 
drink 



mix leaves and stem with blood 
and drink 



mother chews roots and gives pulp 
to baby mouth to mouth 



boil roots, mix with sheep's 
urine, as enema or orally 
boil bark in water and drink 

boil root and mix with sheep urine 
and dung, drink, massage 
abdomen 



boil bark and drink 
boil bark and drink 



Barrenness: usually treated by loibon ritual specialists, but also by 



simalelei (unidentified) 
serai (Euphorbia candelabrum) 



boil roots in water, add milk and 
drink 

p trunk for latex, mix with wat 
and ox-meat boiled in an ox 



and 



to 5 times a day 



Stimulants 



l-kambau (chewing tobacco) 



chew, for men 



80 



FRATKIN 



Vol. 16, No.l 



Location/ 

Symptoms Herbal Medicine 



Preparation 



naisuki (snuffing tobacco) 



mira'a (Catha edulis) 



grind tobacco and mix with soda 

ash, for women 
boil roots in soup, chew bark and 

sugar 



For strength (ngolon) 



n-aiba layyok (Solanum 
renschii) 

l-ng'alayoi (Cissus sp.) 
siteti (Grezvia bicolor) 



boil roots in tea or sour milk 



boil root and drink 
boil berries, add milk 



For warrior's stength (results in "shaking" [aduku] or "trembling" [nkirakirr]) 



l-kinyil (Rhamnus prinoides) 
l-kitalaswa (Myrica salicifolia) 
lolsesyai (Osyris abyssinica) 
ng' aing' aipiapi (unidentified) 
n-kilenyei (Syzgium cordatum) 
seketeti (Myrsine africana) 



boil roots and drink 
boil roots in soup 
boil roots in soup 
boil roots in tea or soup 
boil roots in tea 
boil roots in soup 



Poisons 



l-morijioi (Acokanthera 

longiflora) 
l-perentai (Adenium obesum) 
laturdei (Capparis elaegnoides) 



as arrow poison, boil wood, roots, 

bark 
boil bark, to kill lions 
grind roots and boil 



Snakebite 



l-tigotni (Cardiospermum 

corindum) 
l-kinyil (Rhamnus prinoides) 

Ritual cures: medicines of loibonok diviners 

l-paramunyo (Toddalia asiatica) 

l-kukulai (Rhamnus staddo) 



soak roots in water 2 hours, drink 

to vomit 
boil roots in soup 



reteti (Ficus wakefieldii) 

l-kiloriti (Acacia nilotica) 
lokildia (Tinnea aethiopica) 

Livestock diseases 

Trypanosomiasis (saar) 

l-depe (Acacia nubica) 
Foot and mouth disease (l-kulup) 
Tick fever (l-meritner) 

l-abaai (Psidadia arabica) 



grind outer bark of root, for 

madness, fits, epilepsy 
grind outer bark of root, mix with 

l-paramunyo (Toddalia asiatica) 

root 

scrape inside of bark, for 

barrenness in women 
burn roots 
burn roots 



soak bark and bathe 

ritual blessings by L-Toiyo clan 

boil leaves, bathe 



// 



Lungs," i.e., bovine or carpine pleuro-pneumonia (l-kipei) 



no local cure 



Sheep disease, possibly glanders {l-pus, nadol tnanyeta) 



no local cure except solutions of 



Anthrax (lokochum) 



milk 



Samburu 



caused by poison blown in the 
grass by toads (ntua'an) 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



81 



Location/ 

Symptoms Herbal Medicine 



Preparation 



Camel "glands," viz., lymphatic swellings, diarrhea (ng'aring'ari) 



Swollen udder 



lolsesyai (Osyris abyssinica) 



Fleas 



l-abaai (Psiadia arabica) 
l-tnasikirai (Heliotropium 
steudneri) 



Worms 



loliontoi (Oka hochstetteri) 

l-mugutan (Albizia 

anthelmintica) 
l-ng'erriyei (Oka africana) 



Infected eyes 



seketeti (My r sine africana) 



sarai (Balanites sp.) 



Retained placenta 



sokotei (Salvadora persica) 



Swollen liver 



sukurtuti (Cissus 
quadrangular is) 



no cure 



burn plant, hold smoking embers 
near udder greased in fat 



boil leaves 
boil leaves 



soak in water 12 hours, ingest 
boil bark, wood, and root 



soak bark in water 30 minutes, 

ingest 
soak seeds in water 



grind leaves and place in eyes 



burn roots and grind, pour powder 
in a shed snake skin stuffed with 
grass, force feed to cow 



pound wood until soft, feed to cow 



SAMBURU CONCEPTS OF HEALTH AND ILLNESS 



Samburu cognitively distinguish health problems by causality, distinguishing 



which result from "natural 
Sieved to result from "mvi 



// 



it 



pected events from those unusual 
causes such as the curse of one's 



kinsmen or the immoral attacks of sorcery directed by known or unknown en- 
emies. In this discussion, illness refers to Samburu notions of physical disability 



infectious disease. Samburu 



// 



are to Western medical categories, par 
naturalistic" illnesses with medicines 



from trees and shrubs (dawa lo l-chani, combining 



// 



medicine 



rr 



with Samburu 



// 



increasingly, Western medicines, and sorcery illness 



ritual medicines known as ntasim (spelled entasim in Maasai) prepared by laibor 
ritual curers and which protect against attacks of sorcery and witchcraft. 

Infectious diseases, wounds, fractures, and burns are accepted as everyda> 
events and are treated by traditional specialists knowledgeable in tree medicines 
bone-setting or massage, or by Western medicine if available. Unusual events sucr 
as drowning, attacks by wild animals, snakebites, and problems of infertility anc 
recurrent infant deaths are often attributed to mystical causes, and can only b< 
treated bv the interventions of laibon diviners and healers or, in the case of infer 



82 



FRATKIN 



Vol. 16, No.l 



tility, by blacksmiths whose iron flakes from their hearths (l-kunee) are believed to 
act as powerful ntasim medicines. 

Diet, anatomy, and pollution. — As cattle pastoralists Samburu and Maasai believe 
God gave them cattle and small stock to provide them with milk, meat, and blood 
(see Figure 2). To eat animal foods from outside this domain risks both natural 
and mystical misfortune. "Unclean' 7 foods include most wild animals - fish, birds, 
eggs, reptiles, and non-ruminant mammals including pigs, carnivores, and rodents. 
Only those wild animals that resemble domestic livestock in their diet and behav- 
ior such as giraffe (considered an archaic "earner'), antelope ("small stock") and 
eland ("cattle") are considered edible, and they are only eaten during periods of 
severe shortages and famine. 




FIGURE 2. — Samburu warrior herding cattle. 



Distinctions of "clean" from "unclean" foods mirror social categories within 
Samburu society. Sexually mature women are considered by men to be unclean, 
particularly during menstrual or child birth periods, and are excluded from male- 
dominated rituals. Women are "made clean" at their wedding ceremonies by fe- 
male circumcision (clitoridectomy), which ensures the culturally approved repro- 
duction and birth of children. Men refrain from sexual relations during female 
menstruation, lest "polluting" menstrual blood enter their bodies. 

Samburu believe many health problems are caused by the presence of "un- 
clean" substances which block vital internal systems such as blood circulation or 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 83 



food digestion. Notions of illness resulting from blocked internal circulations has 
been described for other African societies, as in Taylor's (1992) discussion ot 
Rwandan medicine. Samburu believe these blockages may result from food con- 
gestion, caused by eating the wrong foods or fatty foods, or from invisible sub- 
stances which enter the body from insect bites or contact with other humans. These 
substances are thought to "turn blood from red to black," obstruct circulation, 
stiffen the limbs, and lead to fevers and headaches. Samburu worry about consti- 
pation (which is probably common due to little roughage and much animal pro- 
tein in their diet), and seek herbal medicines to relieve it. 

According to Lemeriwas the herbalist, food enters the mouth (ttkutuk, nkutkui) 
and proceeds to the stomach (ngoshoke, ngoshuaa), which separates waste {ng'ik, 
or excrement) and conveys the nourishment through surrounding fatty tissue 
(emanyit, imanyit) directly to the kidneys {lare, larie). The kidneys extract urine 
(nkulak) and pass the remaining food to the liver (emwinyua, imwinyuashi) via 
blood vessels {ng'ony o, ng'ony). The liver is considered the most vital organ next 
to the heart (l-tau, l-tauja) as it converts food into blood (mpuro). The blood is 
conveyed directly to the heart, which "breathes" blood into the rest of the body 
through blood vessels. 

Rich red blood is the final product of food, it brings life to all parts of the body. 
If blood is contaminated by the "wrong" foods or other pollutants, the blood turns 
black and hard and poisons the body. Meat is considered the best food for blood 
production although animal blood is also good as it "strengthens the system." 
Milk, while not directly contributing to blood production, is thought valuable for 
growth in muscles and bones. The eating of crops such as maize or potatoes is not 
prohibited but they are not considered to be strength-building foods. The gall blad- 
der (lodua, loduan, or the "bitter one"), helps to filter out poisons, but bile (also 
lodua) is considered poisonous and Samburu believe that humans need to urinate 

regularly to remove the bile. 

A serious illness caused by undigested foods is ng'ony, the congestion and 
swelling of the blood vessels in the abdomen region believed to convey food from 
the stomach to the liver. The uncirculated blood is believed to turn "black and 
hard", blocking digestion and blood flow and poisoning the entire system. Ng'ony 
is thought to result from mixing the wrong types of food (meat and milk, or por- 
ridge and meat), or may result from illnesses such as liver disease or hepatitis 
(ndis). It is believed that one who suffers ng'ony feels nauseated, and blood may 
be seen in the stool. Cures for ng'ony include massaging the stomach and consum- 
ing a variety of herbal purgatives, listed in Table 2. 

Whereas stomach disorders are usually associated with eating the wrong foods, 
illnesses of the "whole body" (sisen po'oke) including malaria, measles, or tuber- 
culosis, are thought to derive from invisible poisons that enter the body. While 
Samburu today attribute malaria to mosquito bites, it is not clear that they concep- 
tualized this prior to European contact in the late nineteenth century. Samburu 
nevertheless attribute malaria to a foreign poison which results in blood loss by 
the liver and spleen giving rise to headaches and fever. Lemeriwas, the herbalist 
explained: 

If a person doesn't remove the poison from the body by vomiting and 



84 



FRATKIN Vol. 16, No.l 



diarrhea, he's in trouble. The longer the poison stays in the body, the worse 
it becomes. It turns into l-tikana loibor (the white illness), where the blood 
turns white, the stomach and liver swell, the person becomes weaker and 
weaker. Usually people will eat anything, even porridge and blood, that 
just entraps the poison in the system even more, so the person becomes 
stiff and ultimately lame. 

"Liver illness" (ndis) is commonly associated with malaria, although pe< 
use the term to complain of pains in either the right side or left side of the at 
men (i.e. liver or spleen area). The term ndis may refer to different health p 
lems, however, including liver disease, urinary tract infections, and ulcers, 
also believed that drinkine too much alchohol will damage the liver and com 



which 



arms 



Samburu recognize several infectious diseases including measles (ntipu), small- 
pox (l-pepedo), whooping cough (l-muruti), tuberculosis (tibi or shurr), and gon- 
orrhea (kisunono in Swahili). It is not clear to what degree Samburu attribute these 
infectious diseases to human contagion. Epidemics such as measles and, previ- 
ously, smallpox, are believed to result from curses and sorcery attacks. Samburu 
are aware of the Western medical explanations for sexually transmitted diseases, 
but men have asserted, for example, that gonorrhea can appear spontaneously, 
"when a man wants a woman too much, and can't relieve himself." AIDS, like 
other terminal illnesses, is viewed fatalistically, and few men I interviewed be- 
lieved that it was sexually transmitted and they saw little use in protecting them- 
selves or their partners with condoms. I often heard the comment, "If God wants 
me to die. then I will die; if He wants me to live, I will live." 



Herbal medicines as purgatives. — Samburu have a detailed knowledge of their graz- 
ing environment and recognize many of the plant species within the varied mon- 
tane, savanna, desert, and riverine resources. Samburu identify over 300 species 
of plants, categorized as useful "trees" (l-chani sing., l-keek pi.), "grasses" (nkujit, 
nkujita) as well as "weeds" or "useless" plants (nyeerte) (Heine et al. 1988). Heine 
found that where the largest category of useful plants are grasses and shrubs used 
to feed livestock, the second largest category is medicinal plants from which 
Samburu employ bark, roots, leaves, and woody parts of 122 species (42% of the 
total), mainly trees and shrubs. 

Samburu herbal medicines are not placebos whose value is mainly symbolic, 
but effective purgatives, astringents, and analgesics based on their particular chemi- 
cal constitutents. I was not able to analyze the specific compositions of my Samburu 
plant samples, but many of the species used by Samburu are referred to in other 
sources on African plants. For example, the poisonous qualities of alkaloids are 
thought to be responsible for the purging qualities of l-kiloriti {Acacia nilotica [L.] 
Del.), l-karasha (Stericulia africana [Lour.] Fiori), l-bukoi {Momordia spinosa [Gilg] 
Chiov.), and sinandei (Cassia longiracemosa Vatke.). In addition, plants containing 
saponins induce nausea and vomiting when added to water and contribute to the 
purging uses of leminciria (Combretum aculeatum Vent.), sokoltei (Phytolacca 
dodecandra L'Herit.), and the snakebite cure tigomi (Cardiospermum corindum L.) 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 85 



(Verdcourt and Trump 1969:120, Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk 1962:257, 927, 158). 

Samburu medicines also include plants such as tannin rich lesayyet {Witlumia 
somnifera L. Dunal) which have astringent qualities that dry wounds and burns 
(Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk 1962:927). Other plants used to quell a cough and 
relieve chest congestion such as sokoni (Warburgia ugamiensis) and margiveet (Cm- 
ton megalocarpus Hutch.) contain amorphous resinous substances which irritate 
mucus membranes and act as expectorants (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk 1962:158). 
The anti-malarial effect of a Cassia species known in Samburu as senctoi derives 
from its anthraquinone cathartics. This plant is used widely throughout southern 
and East Africa to reduce malarial fevers (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk 1962:568). 



Samburu descriptions of illnesses. — Individuals in Samburu usually describe ailments 
by the location of their symptoms, such as the chest, stomach, or head. If they are 
suffering a known disease such as malaria, they will name the illness and add the 
description "I am sick in my whole body." This section discusses briefly the spe- 



problems named by Samburu 



m 



The "chest" (l-go'o). L-go'o includes chest pains and congestion, and covers a 
variety of illnesses of the repiratory tract: upper respiratory illnesses, bronchitis, 
pneumonia (all referred to as l-chema). The word l-chema also refers to mucus 
congestion in the lungs (sometimes called nkanyaragi) or mucus congestion in the 
nose and sinuses {l-chema lenkue or head). Tuberculosis is recognized and called 
by a distinct name (tibi, derived from English, or shurr, origin unknown), sug- 
gesting it has become a recognized disease only recently. 

Chest pain or pleurisy associated with lung infection is described as "ribs" (/- 
marei) and is treated with teas prepared from pepper, "magadi" soda (calcium 
carbonate, as found in Lake Magadi in southern Kenya), resin from silalei (Boswellia 
hildebrandtii Engl.), and bark from silipani (Cordia sinensis Lam.). In addition, a 
soup prepared from blood, the leaves of the lordo (Cyphostemma adenocaule [A.Rich.] 



Willd. & Drum 



The "stomach" (ngosheke). A "sick stomach" (ngoshoke kemoi) refers to all 
abdominal symptoms and is associated with food digestion. It includes cramps, 
constipation, diarrhea, and "women's stomach," i.e., menstrual cramps. Many 



"stomach" problems are thought due to congestion ot undigested rooc 
blood/' which is treated by both massage and purgatives. Abdominal 
are a common complaint, and are treated by over twenty herbal preparati 
1\ TVus ninocc *i<x'n*fi/ TVontrpstpd blood vessels around the stomach") 



old 



may include 



powerful purgatives including ching'ei (Euclea divinorum Hiem 



Rich 



:eyl 



While many Samburu 



cures used bv Samburu 



eat diarrhea are themselves purgatives. They are not ingested to prevent diar 

i as much as to cleanse the body of polluting substances. 

Among digestive problems, Samburu specifically recognize parasitic worms 



86 



FRATKIN Vol. 16, No.l 



usually tapeworm and ascaris, which they treat with several widely known 

anthelmintics, including l-mugutan (Albizia anthelmintica Brong.), l-ng'erriyei (Olea 

africana Mill.), and seketeti (Myrsine africana L.) which is known widely in East 
Africa. 

The head and throat. Nkue (the head) specifically refers to headaches, but also 
includes problems of the throat (l-goso) and sinus congestion around the eyes (/- 
chetna lenkue). Headaches are relieved by drinking or inhaling the vapors of sev- 
eral herbal cures prepared from l-ng'alayoi (Cissus sp.), l-makutukuti (Clerodendrum 
myricoides [Hochst.] R.Br.), and silalei (Boszvellia hildebrandtii), whose resinous gum 
is burned and inhaled. 

Sore throats (l-goso) are treated by boiling the bark of several highland trees 
including l-kawa (Oxyanthus speciosus DC, ng'elai orok (Vepris eugenifolia [Engl.]), 
and the juniper l-tarakwai (Juniperus procera Hochst. ex Endl.). 

Eyes (nkonjek). Eyes frequently become irritated or infected by dust. Eye prob- 
lems examined at local dispensaries include infections, conjunctivitis, cornea opac- 
ity, and trachoma. Some eye problems are thought (not incorrectly) to result from 
waste matter left by flies. Treatment includes applying substances that make the 

eyes tear, including l-ng'alayoi (Cissus sp.), and the aloe plant sukoroi (Aloe 
secundiflora Engl). 

The liver (eminyua) and spleen (ntanu). Illnesses of the liver and spleen are 
distinguished from other stomach problems. Liver and spleen are thought to swell 
as the result of malaria, hepatitis, and polio. Liver pains are relieved by purgatives 
mixed with milk, particularly from the bark of the acacia tree l-depe (Acacia nubica 
Benth.). Additional cures include eating roasted goat's liver and avoiding the meat, 
fat, and liver of sheep, which are thought to be more fatty and congesting. 

Samburu, Maasai, and Rendille will also treat swollen spleens by making small 
cuts on the abdomen with a razor blade or knife. They do this to bleed the area, 
which is believed to prevent ng'ony (congestion and hardening of the blood), and 
to reduce the pressure and reduce the swelling. 

Systemic illnesses. These refer to those health problems affecting the entire 
body such as malaria, measles, and polio. Often systemic illness are thought to be 
due to poisons that obstruct circulation of blood and digestion of food. Cures usu- 
ally involve ingestion of purgatives as well as treatments for specific pains and 
discomfort. 



Malaria (nkirewa, "hot" or 



// 



from ooison intro 



mosquito bites, which are thought to inhibit 



vomiting 



ultimately the entire body. Treatment 



Belief in disease transmission by mosquitoes is probably recent. It is not noted in 
earlier accounts of Maasai healing (Merker 1910, Thomson 1885). 

Hepatitis (ndis), "the yellow illness," causes fever, swollen liver, jaundice, and 
yellow eyes. It is also thought to be conveyed by the mosquito, which lodges a 
poison that is trapped in the liver. Cures, as with malaria, include expurgation. 
Polio (nkurotet) is also believed to be caused by the mosquito - the poison is be- 
lieved to spread throughout the body via the blood. A person afflicted with polio 
will take as many purgatives as possible, although people say there is little one 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 87 



can do once the weakness and muscle loss sets in. 

Measles (l-tipu) is recognized by its rash; its f 
Unlike malaria, measles is not attributed to conge* 
to drink milk and eat butter and animal fat (of bol 

Smallpox (l-pepedo) is remembered from the 

the Samburu and Rendille nonulaHnns surnimhp 



skin 



monitor lizard. No other treatments are known. 

Injuries, accidents, and snakebite. In addition to these major ailments, Samburu 
use a variety of herbal preparations to deal with injuries. Bone fractures and dislo- 
cations are set by specialists, usually older men. When a bone is fractured, the 
limb is pulled forward and down from the body, and set in a straight cast made 
from the long branches of l-gweita (Cordia sinensis Lam.) or l-tepes (Acacia tortilis 
[Forsk.] Hayne), held together by the resinous gum of lowwai (Balanites sp.) or 
loitokntok (Commiphora sp.). The patient should drink tea made from seketeti 
(Myrsine africana) for "strength" and avoid fat, meat, and posho for several weeks. 
Depending on the fracture, the patient will wear the cast from two to six months. 

Wounds and burns are common occurrences that often lead to infection. 
Wounds may be caused by thorns, steel weapons, or falls from rocks. They are 
treated by a variety of drying substances including l-jipilikua (Strychnos sp.), /- 
kiloriti (Acacia nilotica), and loitaakine (Maerua triphylla A. Rich.). Burns occur 
most frequently among small children who are apt to fall into the open cooking 
hearths. Burns are washed and treated with astrigent leaves of l-dawa lenkop 
(Melhania ovata [Cav.] Spreng.) and nkeju nkitejo (Portnlaca sp.), the leaves of which 

are chewed and placed on the burn. 

Stimulants. Samburu use a variety of herbal stimulants to give them "strength 
but also for relaxation. Tobacco (l-kambau) is chewed by married elders or ground 
and mixed with soda ash (tnagadi) as snuff (naisuki) that is consumed by married 
women, single girls, and single men. The cocaine-like stimulant Catha edulis (Vahl) 
Endl. (mira'a or khat in Somali) is popular among men; it is grown in the high- 
lands of Mt. Meru or Mt. Marsabit, and bought from sellers in towns. 

Members of the warrior age-grade consume a variety of "strength-produc- 



ft 



shaking" (aduku) or "trembling 



ing" soups, some of which are said to cause ' 
(nkirakirr) , pronounced muscular spasms characteristic of Maa-speaking warrio 
during intense social situations including ceremonies and warfare. These plan 
include l-kinyil (Rhamnus prinoides L'Herit.), l-kitalaswa (Myrica salicifolia A. Rich 
and n-kilenyei (Syzgium cordatum Hochst.) (Spencer 1959). 

Mental health. Insanity (l-madai, or "foolishness") is said to result from ce 



n 



mg 



illnesses (measles, malaria, or other high fevers) or from misfortune brought 
it by sorcery or a curse. Several forms of madness are distinguished, includ- 
depression (l-tung'ani erobi or the "cold person"), epilepsy (lakirikirr), and 
hological trauma following an attack by a wild animal or human enemy, which 



manifested in shaking fits and nightmares. Treatment for insanity broi 
J physical illness includes taking purgatives. Treatment for madness 
sorcery must be sought from a laibon ritual specialist. 
Livestock diseases. In addition to human illness, Samburu have a w 



88 



FRATKIN Vol. 16, No.l 



ems 



ent types of animals they keep (cattle, camels, goats, sheep, and donkeys). The 
most serious cattle diseases are trypanosomiasis (saar, or "the fly disease"), foot 
and mouth disease (Ikulup), anthrax (lokochum), and rinderpest (lodua, or "the 
bitter disease"), an epidemic which decimated African livestock at the end of the 
19th century. Ticks (l-meritner) affect all livestock, leading to both allergic responses 
and the transmission of microbial infections. Ticks are controlled by bathing the 
animals with boiled leaves from l-abaai (Psiadia arabica Jaub. and Spach). Further 
descriptions of the treatments for these diseases are listed in Table 2. 



SAMBURU HEALERS— HERBALISTS, MIDWIVES, AND LAIBONS 



Not everyone is equally knowledgeable in 
erbal medicines. Individuals carine for ill ] 



masseurs, and mid wives 



known generally as l-kursan. More often than not, l-kursan are poor and rely on 
the few shillings they receive from dispensing treatments to earn a living. This 
contrasts sharply to laibons, who have an especially high status and who receive 
large payments for their treatments of sorcery. This section describes three Samburu 
healers living near the town of Ngurunit, along the Samburu/Marsabit District 
line: the herbalist Lemeriwas, the midwife Lenkuve, and the laibon Leaduma. 



Lemeriwas the herbalist. — Lemeriwas was, in 1976, a fifty year old male healer from 
the Masala section of Samburu who lived in a Dorrobo community in the Ndoto 
Mountains near Ngurunit town. Dorrobo is a Maasai term meaning "poor," with- 
out cattle. It also refers to foraging populations, some of which prey upon 
pastoralists. Other Dorrobo groups have established interdependent relations with 
pastoralists including trade in honey (Galaty 1982; Kratz 1980). They may also 
provide services as herbalists based on their knowledge of "tree medicines." 

Lemeriwas made a meager living visiting various Samburu and Rendille vil- 
lages, selling his services as an herbalist, masseur and bone setter. He carried a 
large goat-skin bag containing rare highland plants including sokoni (Warburgia 
ugandensis Sprague) to treat chest pains, makutikuti (Clerodendrutn myricoides 
[Hochst.] R.Br.) to treat gonorrhea, and powerful emetics such as l-gilai orok (Vepris 
eugenifolia [Engl.] Verdoorn) to treat hepatitis and stomach and uterine disorders. 

Lemeriwas was outgoing and funny, telling stories about others, perhaps to 
avoid being mocked himself as a poor Dorrobo from the forest. His knowledge of 
plant medicines was widely appreciated, however, and his patients told me only 
Lemeriwas knew both the highland and lowland species of plants. He was my 
principal informant and helped me collect over 125 tree specimens for which he 
described particular properties and preparations. Lemeriwas also had an extraor- 
dinary knowledge of the habits of animals (insects, snakes, birds, and mammals); 
he could imitate large predators, and delighted in scaring me with a leopard's 
cough or lion's roar (see Figure 3). 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



89 






t\ 



J 

4 1 




" 



■ 



Lemeriwas digs for Larosoro root (Cadabafc 



Lemeriwas' treatments were usually private and held in the house of the sick 
person. They consisted of preparation and dispensation of herbal soups, teas and 
enemas, invariably delivered with animated commentary on the nature of the par- 
ticular illness and its cure. In one healing episode I observed, Lemeriwas treated a 
patient suffering from ng'ony (congested blood vessels around the abdomen). While 



massaging the man's abdomen, Lemeriwas 



// 



something 



What have 



lump 



// 



The 



a 



some 



mixed with goat's milk. But it was new milk. Now my stomach 



porridge or fat." Lemeriwas 



// 



should onlv drink sour milk for a while 



stomach is bad in this area, the blood is the same 
:1. If we don't fix it, blood will come out in your 



gurgle, because it is trapped. First it was trapped near the liver, which is very 



intestines] 



// 



Lemeriwas had the patient drink tea containing the bitter kerdeedi bark (Aca- 
cia Senegal [L.] Willd.) and roots from the ching'ei tree (Euclea divinorum), two oi 
the strongest purgatives known to Samburu. Lemeriwas also had the man lie dowr 
and raise his rear end while he administered the same herbal tea by enema througr 
a hollow goat's horn. This caused immediate diarrhea, which was coupled witr 
vomiting from the tea. The ordeal was so excruciating that the patient fainted 
Lemeriwas lifted his head and gave him a calabash of milk to drink. He repeatec 

this ordeal five more times. 

Where the patient was exhausted after the treatment, Lemeriwas was ecstatic 
After cleaning the body and the area soiled by the treatment, Lemeriwas huggec 



90 



FRATKIN Vol. 16, No.l 



the man and told him, "Tomorrow you'll look like a warrior. Your blood will change 
and you'll be able to eat anything without trouble." Indeed the next day the man 
did look better, bright-eyed and active. I was amazed the man was alive. 



Lenguye, the midwife specialist. — Most African communities have women skilled in 
child delivery who act as midwives and advisers during pregnancy and delivery. 
In Samburu, these women are skilled herbalists as well, knowledgeable in the prepa- 
ration of medicines used to relieve menstrual pains, aid difficult pregnancies, treat 
venereal diseases such as gonorrhea, or abort unwanted pregnancies. Midwives 
also perform female circumcision (clitoridectomy) on Samburu women as part of 
the marriage ritual. Lenguye is a widowed Samburu woman now (1995) in her 
late 70s living in the town of Ngurunit in eastern Samburu District. 
Lenguye described how she became a midwife: 

I am originally from the mountains near Maralal, far from this hot place. 
When my husband and I moved out here, I was living alone, not mixing 
with people. I believed I could do everything myself, I didn't want any- 
body disturbing me. I did not fear anybody, I always had my panga (blade) 
in my hand, whenever I was grazing, whenever I was going for firewood. 
At that time, I was very healthy, very tough, very young. 



After we had some children, we moved in with other people, with 
Lukumai clan. I looked at the women when they're delivering children, 
and I see that I am not afraid of their pain and yells. So I used my courage to 
do these things (to deliver their babies). I have this courage because I was 
used to living alone. I see I have this courage, and that's how I started mid- 
wifing. 



I learned about tree medicine from my grandmother when I used to 
live in the mountains by Maralal. I knew about many plants, and I learned 
more when I moved down here. Now every one comes to me when they are 
sick, not just women. I do them all. 

Pregnancy and childbirth are periods of great danger to both the mother and 
child. Cautions are taken to protect the mother and child from conception to wean- 
ing, and there are several ritual prohibitions associated with diet and behavior 
during this period. During pregnancy (katonute) a woman will cease sexual rela- 
tions with her husband. Delivery (aisho) is performed in the woman's house by 
the midwife and other female assistants. The mother may lie on her side, or more 
often squat while holding on to the house's center post. If the birth canal is too 
small, as often happens with first deliveries due in part to scar tissue from the 
female circumcision, the midwife may perform an episiotomy using a razor blade 
or the steel circumcision knife. Although I never witnessed a delivery, Lenkuye 
told me that there is a modest degree of cleanliness in childbirth including using 
boiled water to bathe the mother and the area she inhabits before the birth and the 
baby shortly after he or she is born. However, Samburu custom calls for the um- 
bilical cord to be cut on the sole of the father's sandal> a situation that undoubt- 
edly raises the risk of infection. Ritual also demands that the afterbirth be buried 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 91 



in the calves 7 enclosure following a prayer and blessing, to protect the child from 



male\ 



small animal (called the m 
ind consumed bv the midw 



mother; the mother 



with 



mother to vomit and "clean the stomach/ 7 ensuring the complete removal of 



the afterbirth. 



miscarriages are attributed to m 



mi scar 



Ng'ony, the "congested blood vessels" of the abdomen described earlier, is 



much accumulated 



mother drinks milk 



animal 



miscarnaees, the mi 



medicinal purgatives to the woma 
ing material which must be remov 



performed on unmarried 



women. It is carried out away from the village in the bush. Methods in 
ingestion of several strong purgatives (including a solution made from 



of the "toothbrush 



// 



mixed with sheep's urine 



accompanied by hard massaging 



abdomen. In addition, Western pharmaceuticals such as chloroquine may be in- 
gested in large quantities. If the abortion is successful, the girl drinks tea made 
with l-terikesi (Acacia Senegal L. Wild.) and siteti (Grewia bicolor A. Juss), boiling 
the bark until it turns red, symbolic of women's reproductive powers. 

Leaduma, the Laibon ritual curer. — In addition to treatments for natural illnesses, 
Samburu share with the Maasai beliefs in the ability of laibon ritual curers to treat 
afflictions believed to be caused by sorcery. Laibons (ol-oiboni; il-oibonok in 
Maasai), from the verb a-ibon, "predict" or "prophesize") are male diviners, heal- 
ers, and prophets descended from certain Maasai families. In the past they took 
the role of war leaders during the internecine Maasai wars of the 19th century 
(Berntsen 1979; Fratkin 1979). Laibons are said to inherit a mystical ability tc 
past, present, or future events hidden to ordinary people, achieved either in dreams 



// _ n 




n ■ _ • // 



or by the use of divination objects known as the nkidong (from container, usu- 
ally a gourd or cow's horn from which the divination objects are thrown). In addi- 
tion to their ability to divine, laibons possess the ability to manufacture mystically 
powerful medicines (entasim; intasimi in Maasai; ntasitn, ntasitni in Samburu) 
that, when worn as amulets, protect individuals and their livestock from dangers 
of human enemies, wild animals, or supernatural attacks (see Figure 4). Laibons 
are also suspected of preparing sorcery poisons which they sell secretly to clients. 
As I have described their ritual behavior in detail elsewhere (Fratkin 1991b), let 
me describe briefly their role in maintaining health in the Samburu community. 



92 



FRATKIN 



Vol. 16, No.l 



¥ 












' 



■ 















■ ■ 



. ..:; 



■ ■ 



**■ 














H 



% 




^ 






^^ 



FIGURE 4: The laibon Leaduma applies ntasim medicine to warrior's forehead. 



Lekati Leaduma was a laibon from Lorokushu clan of Samburu who prac- 
ticed among Samburu and Ariaal Rendille until his death in 1987. Leaduma treated 
a variety of problems including human infertility, livestock losses, and unusual 
illnesses. He also offered ntasim protective medicines to warriors at their age-set 
rituals and when preparing for raids. Once during my stay with him, he dreamed 
of a measles epidemic sweeping through the country, and he instructed the two 
hundred and fifty residents of the village to come to his house to receive ritual 
protection in the form of tying a string dipped in ntasim medicines about their 
torsos. 

In one particular treatment I witnessed during a drought period (February 
1976), a family asked Leaduma to treat their daughter of about ten years who had 
been listless, uncommunicative, and refused to eat. Previously the herbalist 
Lemeriwas had proclaimed that the girl was suffering from measles. The pox had 
not broken out on the skin, his purgative treatments were not effective, and the 
girl's condition worsened. 

In a public performance outside the women's house (some divinations are 
private, particularly those where families wish to protect secrets from neighbors), 
the laibon performed a divination by throwing "stones" consisting of seeds, 
marbles, and metal pieces from a gourd. This revealed that the family of the girl 
had been ensorceled long ago. Initially the mother had threatened the girl both 
verbally and physically for not eating; now she moved a protective arm around 
her daughter 's shoulders, as the problem was revealed to belong to all the family 
and not to the girl alone. Leaduma prepared a yellow ntasim powder which he 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 93 



marked on the forehead and the tongue of each family member. Within a tew days, 
the girl had recovered, showing both a lively disposition and a healthy appetite. 
The laibon's curative procedure resemble those of other African traditional 
healers, such as the Ndembu doctor of Zambia described by Victor Turner (1967). 
The curative ceremony becomes a ritualized "family therapy" where tensions are 
revealed and blame is shifted outside the immediate group to the sorcerous acts of 
unnamed individuals (often thought to be jealous family or neighbors). Unlike 
herbal cures, the efficacy of the ntasim medicines is not based on observable physi- 
ological change, but on the belief in their power. 



SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION 



Samburu attribute many illnesses to spiritual or physical pollution leading to 
internal blockage and congestion that impedes digestion and blood circulation. 
Treatment of many common illnesses, including stomach aches, fevers, snakebites, 
and arthritis, is aimed at relieving this suspected blockage by having the patient 
consume purging soups and teas prepared from the roots, bark, and leaves of over 
120 trees and shrubs. Many of these cures do cause vomiting and diarrhea, but 
others are effective in drying wounds, treating burns, and combating infection. 
Healing specialists, including herbalists, mid wives, and bone-setters, are called 
upon to treat "naturalistic" infectious diseases, parasites, wounds, and fractures. 
Samburu also believe that certain illnesses are supernaturally caused, including 
problems of mental illness, infertility, or unusual accidents caused by floods, fire, 
or attacks by wild animals. These misfortunes are most often attributed to sorcery, 
and are treated by the ntasim medicines of loibon ritual diviners and healers. 

There are several points that emerge in a discussion of Samburu medicine: 

1) Samburu have an extensive practical knowledge of illnesses and possess a 
large pharmacopoeia to treat them. Samburu concepts of illness, particularly views 
about digestion and blood circulation, are based in large part on their familiarity 
with raising and butchering livestock. In addition, Samburu have a practical knowl- 
edge about the vegetal resources of their pastoral environment, including river- 
ine, montane, and desert species of plants. 

Many of the plants used in Samburu medicine have direct effects as emetics or 
purgatives, and many contain a variety of poisonous or irritating substances that 
cause vomiting or diarrhea. Samburu take these medicines to "clean" the body of 
impure elements, as they believe that many illnesses are caused by polluting sub- 
stances that block digestion and the circulation of blood. 

2) Although much of Samburu medicine is based on a practical knowledge of 
anatomy and plant behavior, it would be wrong to imply that Samburu healing is 
simply empirical or pragmatic and thus categorically distinct from religious be- 
liefs and ritual practices. Although many of their healing techniques have visible 
effects, Samburu healing is predicated on the belief that many illnesses— includ- 
ing those brought about "by God alone" or due to the immoral actions of sorcer- 
ers — lead to internal pollution and decay, a belief that is ultimately spiritual. 

3) Although Samburu traditional medicine shares features with other African 
societies, there are several distinctions between the beliefs and practices of Nilotic- 
speaking pastoralists and Bantu-speaking agriculturalists, with some borrowing 



94 



FRATKIN Vol. 16, No.l 



between these two large traditions. Nilotic pastoralists including Samburu do not 
have strong beliefs in ancestor spirits, unlike Bantu-speakers who share the ngoma 
healing tradition described by Janzen (1992). Many pastoral groups have strong 
beliefs in divination and prophesy, as among Nilotic Maasai (Berntsen 1979), Atuot 
and Nuer (Burton 1991), Samburu (Fratkin 1991b), Turkana (Lamphear 1992), and 
the Cushi tic-speaking Boran and Somali (Dahl 1989, Lewis 1966). 

Samburu believe in sorcery activities of human enemies, but this feature may 
be more widespread among Bantu farmers than Nilotic herders. Edgerton (1966) 
found that where Bantu-speaking Kamba and Hehe attributed most mental ill- 
ness to sorcery, the Nilotic-speaking Pokot and Sebei very rarely did so, attribut- 
ing mental disturbances to "God alone" or natural causes. Moreover, where the 
Bantu-speakers had elaborate treatments for insanity through ritual curing, the 
Nilotes rarely attempted treatment and were more likely to kill the person if he/ 
she became violent. 

Samburu and Maasai, with their unique (for Nilotes) institution of the laibon 
diviner-healers are an exception to this, perhaps because of their adoption of the 
prophet-diviner-sorcerer tradition from neighboring Kikuyu and Meru who are 
Bantu-speaking agriculturalists (Berntsen 1979). Maasai and Samburu thus repre- 
sent an important fusion of Nilotic and Bantu, as well as Cushitic, healing traditions. 

4) Social and economic changes influence Samburu medical beliefs and prac- 
tices, particularly as Western values and medical knowledge filter into local groups 
via schools, commerce, and health services. Today, Samburu attribute malaria to 
mosquitos and measles to human contagion, but it is not certain they did so two 
generations ago. There also exist syncretic borrowing between the two traditions, 
where for example Samburu readily seek injections as more powerful than pills 
because the medicine goes directly into the body (and presumably the blood) where, 
one believes, it can effectively break apart internal congestions. 

Samburu medicine is highly pluralistic. It is not unusual to simultaneously 
consult different types of healing specialists including herbalists, laibons, and 
Western health clinics. When vaccination teams from the African Inland Church 
came to the laibon Leaduma's settlement, he encouraged all mothers to bring their 
children and assisted the nurses by lining up people. However, determining the 
cause of an illness is essential to treating it, and several Samburu have remarked 
that if an illness is due to sorcery, only a laibon' s ntasim will save that person. 

Western health care workers periodically complain about the widespread use 
of herbal medicines among Africans, showing particular concern about dehydra- 
tion and possibly mortality resulting from the strong purgatives. Clinicians com- 
plain that herbal dosages are not regulated, and that people suffering from serious 
medical problems who first attempt herbal cures delay coming to the clinics until 
it is too late to save them. Certainly the description of Lemeriwas' treatment for 
ng'ony blood congestion could be interpreted this way. 

However, because local healers are the first line of treatment for many rural 
people, Western health care providers would do well to work more closely with 
them. This is happening to some degree in northern Kenya where health person- 
nel distribute sterilized razors to male circumcisers and to midwives in attempts 
to combat the spread of AIDS. Hopefully, this paper will be of use to health care 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



95 



providers in rural Africa who are attempting to integrate African and Western 



medical knowledge. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



Data about Samburu healing was collected during fieldwork in Marsabit and Samburu 
Districts, northern Kenya in 1974-1976, 1985, 1990, and 1992. Spelling of Maa words is 
based on Mol (1978), and of Samburu plants on Heine et al. (1988). I am grateful to the 
Office of the President, Republic of Kenya and to the Institute of African Studies, University 
of Nairobi for their assistance with the research. I extend my appreciation to Samburu healers 
Lekati Leaduma, Lemeriwas Masala, and the midwife Lenguye; to John G. Galaty, Bernd 
Heine, H. Jurgen Schwartz, and Paul Spencer for sharing their plant identifications from 
Maasai and Samburu; and to medical practitioners Martha A. Nathan M.D., David Wiseman 
M.D., Joan Harris R.N., and Frances and Jane Omare for discussions about Samburu and 
Rendille health problems. 

A version of this paper was presented at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Society for 
Ethnobiology in Victoria, British Columbia, on March 18, 1994. Thanks to John G. Galaty, 
Timothy Johns, Corinne Kratz, Martha A. Nathan, Deborah Pearsall, Nancy Turner, and the 
anonymous reviewers at the Journal of Ethnobiology for their comments about the manuscript, 
to Donald Joralemon, Phoebe Ann Porter, and Christiana Metral for the abstract translations, 
and to Heidi Bakken, Jennifer Love, and Diane Snyder for their assistance in its preparation. 
Funding for the research was provided by the University of London (1974), the Smithsonian 
Institution (1975), the National Geographic Society (1985), the Social Science Research 
Council (1985), the Mellon Foundation (1990, 1992), and the Pennsylvania State University 
(1990). 



LITERATURE CITED 



ARHEM, KAJ. 



Why trees are 
Maasai 



in Cultural Anthropology 13. Almqvist 



Wiksell 



Pp. 75-84 in Culture, Experience, and EDGERTON, R. B. 1966. Conceptions of 
Pluralism: Essays on African Ideas of Psychosis in Four East African Societies. 

Illness and Healing. A. Jacobson- American Anthropologist 68:408-425. 

FOSTER, G. M. 1976. Disease etiologies in 



Widd 



and David We 



(editors). Uppsala Studies in Cultural 



We 



Wiksell 



medical systems. 

:773-782. 



International, Stockholm 



FRATKIN 



BERNTSEN, JOHN. 1979. Pastoralism, 



M 



in 



the 19th Century. Unpublished Ph.D. 
Dissertation, University of Wisconsin. 

BURTON, JOHN W. 1991. Nilotic 
cosmology and the divination of Atuot 
Philosohpy. Pp. 41-52 in African 
Diviniation Systems. P.M. Peek (editor). 
Indiana University Press, Bloomington. 

DAHL, GUDRUN. 1989. Possession as 
Cure: The Ayaana cult among the Waso 
Boran. Pp. 151-165 in Culture, 
Experience, and Pluralism: Essays on 



and Concepts of Disease in Samburu. 
Institute of African Studies, Seminar 
Paper No. 65. University of Nairobi. 



FRATKIN 



Samburu 



Maasai warfare. Pp. 54-65 in Warfare 
among East African Herders. K. Fukui 



Senri 



Ethnology 



FRATKIN, ELLIOT 1986. Stability and 
resilience in East African pastoralism: 
The Ariaal and Rendille of northern 
Kenya. Human Ecology 14:269-286. 



African Ide'as of Illness and Healing. A. FRATKIN, ELLIOT 1991a. Surviving 

Drought and Development: Ariaal 



Widd 



and 



David 



Westerlund 



Westv 



96 



FRATKIN 



Vol. 16, No.l 



Boulder, Colorado. 
FRATKIN, ELLIOT 1991b. The loibon as 



Healing in Central and Southern Africa. 
University of California Press, Berkeley. 



Sorcerer: A Samburu loibon among the KRATZ, CORINNE. 1980. Are the Okiek 



Ariaal Rendille, 1973-1987. Africa 
61:318-333. 
FRATKIN, ELLIOT and E. A. ROTH 1990. 
Drought and economic differentiation 
among Ariaal pastoralists of Kenya. 
Human Ecology 18:385-402. 



really Maasai? or Kipsigis? or Kikuyu? 

Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines 79:355-368. 
LEWIS, I. M. 1966. Spirit possession and 

deprivation cults. Man 1:307-329. 
MERKER, M. 1910. Die Masai, 2nd edition. 

Dietrich Reimer, Berlin. 



FRATKIN, ELLIOT and K. SMITH 1994. MOL, F. 1978. Maa: A Dictionary of the 



The Organization of Pastoral 
Production. Pp. 91-112 in African 
Pastoralist Systems: An Integrated 
Approach. Elliot Fratkin, K. Galvin, and 
E. A. Roth (editors). Lynne Rienner 
Publishers, Boulder, Colorado. 
FRATKIN, ELLIOT and K. SMITH 1995. 
Women's Changing Economic Roles 



Maasai Language and Folklore 
English-Maasai. Marketing and 
Publishing, Nairobi. 
NATHAN, M. A., E. FRATKIN, and E. A. 
Roth. 1996. Sedentism and child health 
among Rendille pastoralists of northern 
Kenya. Social Science and Medicine. In 
Press. 



with Pastoral Sedentarization: Varying SOBANIA, N. 1988. Pastoralist migration 



Strategies in Four Rendille Com- 
munities. Human Ecology 23:433-454. 

GALATY, JOHN G. 1979. Pollution and 
pastoral antipraxis: The issue of Maasai 
inequality. American Ethnologist 6:803- 
816. 

GALATY, JOHN G. 1982. Being "Maasai"; 



and colonial policy: A case study from 
northern Kenya. Pp. in The Ecology of 
Survival: Case Studies from N. E. 
African History. D. Johnson and D. 
Anderson (editors). Crook Greene, 
London, and Westview Press, Boulder, 
Colorado. 



Being "People-of-the-Cattle": Ethnic SPEAR, T. and R. WALLER (editors). 1993. 



shifters in East Africa. American 
Ethnologist 9:1-20. 

GALVIN, K. A., D. L. COPPOCK, and P. W. 
LESLIE. 1994. Diet, Nutrition, and the 
Pastoral Strategy. Pp. in African 
Pastoralist Systems: An Integrated 
Approach. Elliot Fratkin, K. Galvin, and 
E. A. Roth (editors). Lynne Rienner 
Publishers, Boulder, Colorado. 

HEINE, B., I. HEINE, and CHRISTA 
KONIG. 1988. Plant Concepts and Plant 
Use. Part V: Plants of the Samburu 
(Kenya). Verlag Breitenbach Publishers, 
Saarbruken. 

HOLLIS, A. C. 1905. The Masai: Their 



Being Maasai. James Curry, London. 

SPENCER, P. 1959. Samburu notions of 
health and disease and their relation- 
ship to inner cleanliness. Paper deliv- 
ered to the Symposium on Attitudes to 
Health and Disease, East African Insti- 
tute of Social Research, Makerere Uni- 
versity, Kampala Uganda. 

SPENCER, P. 1965. The Samburu: A Study 
of Gerontocracy in a Nomadic Tribe. 
University of California Press, Berkeley. 

SPENCER, P. 1973. Nomads in Alliance. 
Oxford University Press, London. 

SPENCER, P. 1988. The Maasai of Matapato. 
Indiana University Press, Bloomington 



Language and Folklore. Clarendon SPENCER, P. 1991. The Loonkidongi 



Press, Oxford. 
HURSKAINEN, ARVI. 1989. The 
epidemiological aspect of spirit 
possession among the Maasai of 
Tanzania. Pp. 139-150 in Culture, 
Experience, and Pluralism: Essays on 
African Ideas of Illness and Healing. A. 



prophets and the Maasai: Protection 

racket or incipient state? Africa 
61:334-342. 
TAYLOR, C. C. 1992. Milk, Honey, and 
Money: Changing Concepts in 
Rwandan Healing. Smithsonian 
Institution Press, Washington D.C 



Jacobson-Widding and David Wester- THOMSON, JOSEPH. 1885. Through 



lund (editors). Uppsala Studies in 
Cultural Anthropology 13. Almqvist 
and Wiksell International, Stockholm. 
JANZEN, J. M. 1992. Ngoma: Discourses of 



Masailand. Frank Cass, London. 
Reprinted 1968. 
TURNER, VICTOR W. 1967. The Forest of 
Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual. 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



97 



Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New WESTERLUND 



York. 
VERDCOURT, B. and E. C. TRUMR 1969. 

Common Poisonous Plants of East 

Africa. Collins, London. 
WATT, J. M. and M. G. BREYER- 

BRANDWIJK. 1962. Medicinal and 

Poisonous Plants of Southern and East 

Africa. E. and S. Livingstone, 

Edinburgh. 



and change: A comparative and 
historical approach to African disease 
etiologies. Pp. 177-218 in Culture, 
Experience, and Pluralism: Essays on 
African Ideas of Illness and Healing. A. 
Jacobson-Widding and David Wester- 
lund (editors). Uppsala Studies in 
Cultural Anthropology 13. Almqvist 
and Wiksell International, Stockholm. 



BOOK REVIEW 



Plant Intoxicants. A Classic Text on the Use of Mind-Altering Plants, Baron Ernst 
von Bibra. [Translated by Hedwig Schleiffer; Forward by Martin Hasenrier; 
technical notes by Jonathan Ott]. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, and 
Inner Traditions International. 1995. $16.95 (paperbound). ISBN 089281-498-5. 



This translation of the famous German book Die Narkotischen Genussmittel und 
der Mench has been beautifully published. It is a joy to read. 

The original German volume was the first book published for an interdiscipli- 
nary, non-technical audience that could bring to the public the story of the use of 
narcotic and hallucinatory plants in an ethnobotanical and international point of 
view. But since it was published in German and was a rather rare book, its influ- 
ence was rather restricted. It pre-dated by five years the English popular book by 
Mordecai C. Cooke The Seven Sisters of Sleep, which similarly considered a number 
of narcotics and intoxicants then employed in various parts of the world. 

Von Bibra's book, now in English, has long been an extremely rare item-and 
only available in German. Dr. Schleiffer 's expert translation and Jonathan Ott's 
technical notes make this publication a must for any English-speaking reader in- 
terested in the sociological and historical importance in the last century of the use 
of narcotics and stimulants. It is truly, as indicated in a description on the back 
cover, "...a pioneer study of psychoactive plants and their role in society/ 7 It is 
also, as stated on the cover of the book, "a classic text on the use of mind-altering 
plants/' I recommend it highly to readers who will find this English translation a 
welcome addition to our fund of excellent books on mind-altering drugs employed 
in various parts of the world. 



Richard Evans Schultes 
Botanical Museum of Harvard University 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 



98 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.l 



La Guia de Incafo de las Plantas Utiles y venenosas de la Peninsula Iberica y 
Baleares (Excluidas Medicinales). Diego Rivera Nunez and Conception Obon. 
Incafo., Castello 59,28001, Madrid. 



This handy-sized (4" x 8") book of 1257 pages and 386 excellent color illustra- 
tions is a model for geographically localized floras. Each entry has the common 
name under the Latin binomial— always in Spanish and (when the plant grows in 
the non-Spanish speaking areas of Spain) in Catalan and Euskara. Vernacular names 
are often given in Portuguese, French, English, and German as well. Interesting 



moloeical analyses of the Latin names 



The index is extremely 



flowering period, and uses (if any) 
s followed by a page of clever sym 
srv complete oace index of the use; 



economic botanical book with so much 



mation 



Richard Evans Sc 
Botanical Museum of Harvard Uni\ 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 



Journal of Ethnobiology 16(1):99-117 



Summer 1996 



NON-DOMESTICATED FOOD RESOURCES IN THE 
MARKETPLACE AND MARKETING SYSTEM 

OF NORTHEASTERN THAILAND 



GERALDINE MORENO-BLACK 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Oregon 

Eugene, Oregon 97403 



W ATANA AKANAN 

RR 2 Box 4193 
Pahoa, HI 96778-9803 



PRAPIMPORN SOMNASANG 
Department of Anthropology 

University of Oregon 

Eugene, Oregon 974043 



SOMPONG THAMATHAWAN 

School of Biology, Institute of Science 
Suranaree University of Technology 

Nakornajasima, Thailand 



PAUL BROZVOSKY 

Institutional Research and Planning Analysis 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University 

Blacksburg, Virginia 



ABSTRACT 



an 



northeastern Thailand. These 



ty 



in the local markets and becoming a part of the commercial exchange system. 
Early morning markets in this region were surveyed throughout the year in order 
to: 1) document the prevalence and seasonal variation of non-domesticated food 
resources; 2) determine which non-domesticated food resources are important 
sources of income for the local people; and 3) identify factors that impact the 



We found that a wide variety 



insects 



eptiles, amphibians, and crustaceans. Seasonal variation in availability 
ty was found. Plants, insects, amphibians, and crustaceans were most c 
id diverse during the hot season, while fish diversity and abundance 
t during the rainy season. Very few species were found to predominate 



100 MORENO-BLACK ET AL. Vol. 16, No.l 



market variability was high. Cultural and social changes that are related to the 
use of non-domes ticates as sources of income are also discussed. 



RESUMEN. — Los recursos alimenticios no domesticados y semidomesticados son 
parte importante de la vida tradicional en el noreste de Tailandia. Estas plantas y 
animales, recolectados para una amplia variedad de propositos, estan siendo 
puestos en venta con creciente frecuencia en los mercados locales y estan 
convirtiendose en parte del sistema de intercambio comercial. Los mercados que 
operan temprano en la manana en esta region fueron estudiados a lo largo del 
ano con el fin de: 1) documentar la frequencia y variacion estacional de recursos 
alimenticios no domesticados; 2) determinar cuales recursos alimenticios no 
domesticados son fuente important de ingresos para la poblacion local; y 3) 
identificar factores que tienen un impacto sobre el mercadeo de estos articulos. 
Encontramos que una amplia variedad de recursos no domesticados eran vendidos 
en los mercados, incluyendo plantas, hongos, algas, peces, insectos, aves, 
mamiferos, reptiles, anfibios y crustaceos. Se encontro variacion estacional en la 
disponsibilidad y diversidad. Las plantas, insectos, anfibios y crustaceos fueron 
mas comunes y diversos durante la temporada de calor, mientras que la diversidad 
y abundancia de peces fue mayor durante la epoca de lluvias. Se encontraron 
muy pocas especies que predominaran y la variabilidad en el mercado fue alta. 
Los cambios culturales y sociales que estan relacionados con el uso de los recursos 
no domesticados como fuente de ingreso son tambien abordados. 



RESUME. — Les ressources alimentaires sauvages et a demi sauvages jouent un 
role important dans la vie traditionnelle du Nord-Est de la Thailande. Ces plantes 
et ces animaux, recoltes pour de multiples raisons, sont de plus en plus vendus 
sur les marches locaux et sont en train de devenir partie integrante du systeme 
d'echange commercial Nous avons etudie pendant une annee les marches du 
matin dans cette region afin de 1) faire l'inventaire des ressources alimentaires 
sauvages en tenant compte des variations saisonnieres, 2) determiner quels 
produits alimentaires sauvages pouvaient constituer une source de revenu 
importante pour les communautes locales, et 3) identifier les facteurs qui pouvaient 
influencer le mise en vente des memes produits. Nous avons ainsi constate qu'une 
grande variete de produits sauvages etaient vendus sur les marches dont des 
plantes, des champignons, des algues, des poissons, des insectes, des oiseaux, des 
mammiferes, des reptiles, des batraciens et des crustaces. La disponibilite et la 
diversite des produits variaient egalement selon les saisons. Les plantes, les 
insectes, les batraciens et les crustaces etaient plus communs et diversifies durant 
la saison seche tandis que les poissons etaient plus abondants et diversifies durant 
la saison des pluies. Malgre la diversite des produits vendus, il y avait tres peu 
d'especes predominantes et la variability etait tres grande sur les marches. Les 
changements culturels et sociaux lies a l'utilisation des produits sauvages en tant 
que source de revenu sont aussi commentes. 



INTRODUCTION 



Non-domesticated 1 plants and animals have significant cultural, biological, 
and economic value at local, regional, and national levels. People who utilize non- 
domesticated resources to meet these needs often rely on organized exchange sys- 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



101 



terns to obtain them (Dhanamitta et al. 1988; De Beer and McDermott 1989; Moreno- 
Black 1991, 1994; Moreno-Black and Price 1993; Ngamsomsuke et al. 1987; Ngarmsak 
1987; Scoones et al. 1992). An important aspect of recent ethnobiological studies 
has been the focus on how resources are defined, appropriated, and distributed. 

Most subsistence-based communities are linked to larger economic and politi- 
cal systems through markets. Consequently, markets are a valuable arena for gath- 
ering information on people-resource relationships. Recent marketplace studies 
have shown the importance of this domain for monitoring changing selection pres- 
sures on specific resources, i.e., selection by people because of culturally defined 
qualities of the items (Bye and Linares 1983, 1990; Jacquat 1990; Johnson and 
Johnson 1976; Pei 1987, 1988; Schlage 1969; Scoones et al. 1992; Wester and 
Chuensanguansat 1994; Wanatabe and Satrawaha 1984; Whitaker and Cutler 1966). 
The sale of non-domesticated resources in the market can lead to more intensified 
interactions with the environment, modification of habitats, selection and mainte- 
nance of certain plants, and changes in how individuals exert control over each 
other for the use of these resource areas. 

This paper is based on research conducted in northeastern Thailand from 1990 
through 1992. We examined the occurrence of non-domesticated plants and ani- 
mals in a group of markets in northeastern Thailand as part of a larger investiga- 
tion of the use of non-domesticated food resources. We aim to contextualize how 
non-domesticated resources are utilized on the local level. We are particularly in- 
terested in the process of transformation by which biological resources used for 
home consumption become tradeable commodities. 

Our specific objectives in surveying the markets were as follows: 1) document 
the prevalence of non-domesticated foods in the marketplace; 2) evaluate varia- 
tion in the availability of these items; 3) determine the types of non-domesticated 
foods that are important income generators for the people of northeastern Thai- 
land, and 4) identify factors that lead to these resources being selected for market 
sale as well as home consumption. In this selection process we see some of the 
cultural and social factors involved in this transformation. 



Northeast Thailand: Its environment, people, and markets. — The northeastern part of 
Thailand, called Isan, is the largest of the country's four major geographic regions. 
Isan is characterized by a distinctive language and culture similar to those of neigh- 
boring Laos. It contains one third of the nation's population and is usually consid- 
ered the poorest and least economically developed region of the country. This re- 
gion has been inhabited for a long time. Archaeological sites with some of the 
earliest evidence in Asia of agriculture, pottery, and bronze work are located in 
the Northeast (Higham 1982; Solheim 1986). 

Isan is characterized by a gently sloping plateau of undulating mini-water- 
sheds and flood plains, but also includes a zone of hills and upland areas in the 
west and the south (Hafner 1990). These hills — which and extract moisture from 
airstreams during monsoon periods — are most pronounced in the western and 
southern part of the region. While contributing to the biodiversity of the region, 
they also create a rain-shadow, making the area more susceptible to droughts. The 
climate is usually differentiated into three seasons: 1) the "cool" season from No- 
vember to February, 2) the "hot" season from March to mid-May, and 3) the "wet" 



102 MORENO-BLACK ET AL. Vol. 16, No.l 



season from mid-May to October. 

The semi-arid environment greatly influenced the traditional subsistence sys 
tern and other adaptations to the habitat. Traditionally, the people in the North 
east adjusted to variability in these habitat factors through the development of < 
combined subsistence system, in which they complemented their reliance on th< 
staple rice and other subsistence crops with a large input from wild food (Moreno 



Somnasan 



1986). 



The rich flora and fauna in 



ful plants and animals that are gathered for a wide variety of purposes, including 
foods, building materials, crafts, medicinal uses, and religious activities. These 
indigenous practices and the knowledge that they represent have been developed 
over many generations and are deeply ingrained in regional Thai culture 
(Phithakpol 1990). The diet — characterized by a staple core of glutinous rice, fish, 
and fish products — is embellished with a variety of local wild and semi-domesti- 
cated plants and animals (Moreno-Black 1991, 1994; Ngamsomsuke et al. 1987; 
Ngarmsak 1987; Pradipasen et al. 1985; Somnasang et al. 1988). These important 
items — collected from forests, upland fields, rice paddies, gardens, house areas, 
canals, ponds, swamps, rivers, and dam areas — contribute valuable nutrients. 
Coupled with a variety of cooking methods, they add diversity to an otherwise 
monotonous diet (Moreno-Black 1991; Somnasang et al. 1988). 

These food items have more recently become an important source of income 
for Isan villagers. In the early 1960s life in Isan changed considerably. This marked 
the beginning of the government's focus on development, introduced with the 
first "National Economic Development Plan." National government involvement 
in the local market system began in the early 1950s with the keeping of official 
records. Government involvement in the markets increased with construction of 
permanent structures and other physical improvements and maintenance of these 
facilities. Today markets are maintained through users' fees collected daily by a 
government office or a private company on contract to the government. 



development also greatly influenced 



markets 



more closely integrated into the wider market system. As large numbers of villag- 
ers in the Northeast for the first time entered the market-oriented economic sys- 
tem, items traditionally collected for local consumption from local forests, rivers, 
and other resource areas, as well as village agricultural products, were rapidly 
incorporated into the growing economic system. Today it is increasingly common 
to find gathered, non-domesticated, and semi-domesticated plants and animals 



market system Qacquat 1990; Levin 1992; Wester 
These markets now reorespnt a nlarp of infpncp int, 



between peopl 



METHODS 



The market system in northeastern Thailand includes several types of mar 
. First are the early-morning markets, primarily active between four a.m. anc 
Lt or nine a.m. Second are the all-day markets, where activity may begin a; 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



103 



early as six a.m. and continue throughout the day. Third are the late afternoon or 
early evening markets. Fourth are the night markets, predominantly oriented to 
the selling of cooked food. Our study was conducted only at the early morning 
markets since these are the predominant locus of market activity for rural village 
farmers. The sample included markets located in rural areas as well as near and 
within cities (Figure 1). Market size varied with location and season (Table 1). The 
smallest, and most rural, varied from 93 vendors in the hot season to 68 in the 
cool. The largest market, centrally located near three towns and a large rural popu- 
lation varied from 312 vendors in the cool season and 353 in the rainy season. We 
consulted with district offices and found their records of market size and varia- 
tion, based on daily fee collection, to be similar to ours. 

TABLE 1. — Number of vendors per market by season. 



Markets KM CP HP WP Bor TK TN BF SEL RE CY 



Total 



Hot 



218 226 146 211 183 216 216 92 347 221 163 



2,239 



Rainy 



119 124 140 145 98 120 238 93 353 174 135 



1739 



Cool 



178 151 179 102 167 162 277 68 312 225 110 



1,931 



Total 



515 501 465 458 448 498 731 253 1012 620 408 



5,909 



Legend for Markets 



** 



KM 

CP 

HP 

WP 

Bor 

TK 



Kamalasai (Pu) 
Chaturaphak Phiman (Pu) 
Hui Phung (R) 
Wapi Pathum (T) 
Borabu (T) 
Talaat Kaset (T) 



TN 

BF 

Sel 

RE 

CY 



Tuenj-Nathorn (T) 
Ban Fang (R) 
Selaphum (R) 

Roi Et (T) 
Chiang Yun (Pu) 



*Species diversity was greatest during the hot season (F = 32.89, df = 20, 2; p < .001 ) 
**Pu = Peri-urban, T = Town, R = Rural 

We surveyed 11 markets during the annual climatic cycle, characterize 
cool, hot, and wet seasons. Within the markets information was obtained 
through surveying the market and interviewing vendors. In addition we obt; 
information concerning marketing practices and resource utilization in on 



two 



market 



The market survey. — At each 

We worked in pairs. Walking through a designated 



continuous 



// 



items 



number 



// 



stall." When we were unfamiliar with particular items 



item 



survey 



markets were interviewed to obtain 



information about items they were selling, their gathermg practices, and their mar 
keting habits. 3 We chose vendors for the interview based on the items they wen 
selling. We gave first priority to interviewing vendors who were selling items tha 
h^H nnf nrpvinndv hppn recorded. The open-ended interview included 1) brie 



104 



MORENO 



Vol. 16, No.l 



FIGURE 1 .—Map of northeastern Thailand with 



markets. 






•■■->.>■. 






',%V 



WVi V 






VnC 



■*-t>X-V 






. * * i * * 



< * 



* ~ ■ 



"**_'_*_ 



L 1 « * .\"^ 1 



^ ; -x-:Xx';- ; 



-;w:xvxx 



?« 






i ■ 



.. -*' 



> _»_■_»_ 



.%% v*. 



,\%% 



.vo: 



v* jn_ 



* - * * 



i 4 *. 



X x-X'XvXxv 



i * T 



Wrf 



♦ •;%-:<:-: 



>:■» 



*:-:•> 



£^>x-x* 



■x-x 









? * . 



o_* * *_*_ 



VJ-'i 



AW 



i"jf * 






_v 



vXv 






AV 



VA 



"f » *V»* u 



-* * * » * * 



,-.%% v 



1*4 ■ 



WV.' 



■ 



>v, : > 



:/■■ 



W 



iV**A 






» 






■v*v 



•>--%* 



Nong Khai 

. ;X;-X'X';;x:-:.vXv.*ri»r x-xXx-x : XvX'XvX-x 
&3>:*?*:*:S ::-:;->:-:;v;-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-rv:-:v>:- 



■ m',7 



SK 






i** _*_♦_*_*. 



.%*.%• 



■ *• *i* 



w 



ylv! 



LV/- 



-Vi*iV 



: : xx< 



. ^ * ^ ^ 



m*>>: 



i * h * * 






'*"** 



■ >V XX X V > X; >/>%%< 



IV*V 



,VJVi 



: ; : ; ;: 



T. ' ' A * \ 



yyyA 



«yy- 



' >■ T * 



V-V 



*_»_*_ 



'»_»_*. 



' • 1 * 



V*V- 



&*£ 












t * • * • 



■~'." • * 



ViVi 



>-'■'/*:-: 



HI 2 



CD 



l'-v 



iViVAV* 



-x-v;- 



;#x#^ 



WtS 



I . • # * 



•v>xx 



« 



"■V 



■v.*- 






ill 



r£- 






. L t I 






"a ■•„ 



X: ; : 



33ft 






w 



. ■ 



i i"« ». 



« 






V/.'.'-V, 



t * ■ • ■ 



®mm 



VA 



■*%%*j 



x : ; : ; : - 






.**"« 



: x : x : x 















.'•;•;-:■:-- 
■: : ; ; : : :v' : : : : ::-v : 



■ 



.:-:<%'<-:•:<•:-:•:■;■:■;;-:■:•;-:•:.:':•:•:•:-:•:-:•: ;.•:*:-< 



•:■:■; 



loiEt 



. * h. 



VA 



'» 



l ««£&- 



>>-v:- 



i Vt .» * 



I 



■m- 



•■%•#■ 












>»■ 



i'-:-V" 



*.*■*■*■*■ 



£•_*!►- 



L _ 1 I ■ 






1*1 

■ 

•1*1 V* 



'-:■« 






r/A 



'%"*+_•■_ 



* ■ * •" 



S ; -v//.v 



■ < * 



>_*_*- 



*::•>?» 

; : ; : ; : ; 



;■:•:•: 



>£:£ 



',v; 



>?:■:•;%*- 



vi-'// 



.* b 



■-/*' 



■ *« t i . 



i % ■ j * 



11 



>:•:-:•: 



**-**. 



y&yy 



%Y- 






» ¥ *"*_* > _*<_*i_* *j 






!t*i>:»: 



>.*' 



.*** * *. 



i j-^_ 






* * * » i*. 






>>»>; 



'»/>» 



X ;>-: 



?SSS' 






'_*!*? 






9 9 V*. 



'AVi 



■,v.-. 



/ 

T> 1 1 J Im 












^ 



■'-.-". : 



Mv ;->*■> 






:» 












»:« 









'--•:•> 



.v^*W« 



- : "' X 'X 












.", * > ^. 



1%^- 



W-I'tf 



;^ 






A/. 






* 






*t~ * 












S": : 



>!■> 



•f J ^- 



'.-'' 



•'''-:•:-:-»> 



:-:-<5 






y^: 






:-:■:-" 



■-' - ■ • 



'.-.:•;, 



'»>>:■:•:•>;- 



:':■:■!«'-■- 






VWV-!. 












' 



Legend for Markets 

1 Ban Fang 

2 Chiang Yun 

3 Kamalasai 

4 TalaatKaset 

5 Tuenj-Nathorn 

6 HuiPhung 

7 Roi Et 

8 Selaphum 

9 Chaturaphak Phiman 

10 Borabu 

11 Wapi Pathum 









Figure 1. Location of study sites 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



105 



demographic information on the vendor; 2) item name; 3) price per unit of pur- 
chase; 4) collection site and resource-area status (e.g., public or private); 5) collec- 
tion methods, including whether permission was needed to collect the item and 
whether this differed when gathering for home consumption or for selling; 6) 
management and propagation practices; 7) uses; and 8) methods of cooking or 
preparation. 

The samples.— Raw plant and animal samples were purchased, usually in the units 
in which they were sold. Color slide photographs were taken of most of the items 



were 



in the focus village to confirm or expand 



mation. Plant specimens 



rium at Khon 



Ethnographic data 



market 



in Kalasin Province. We 



viewed villagers using both semi-structured and focus-group interviews. The ii 
terview questionnaire included topics concerning gathering practices and know 
edge of wild foods and their habitats, use of gathered foods, and women's plan 
management practices. The focus-group interviews centered on gathering ar 
marketing practices and use of non-domesticated food. 



RESULTS 



How prevalent are non-domesticated resources in the marketplace and which resources are 
being utilized as income generators! — One of our original objectives was to evaluate 
the prevalence of non-domesticated resources in the marketplace and to identify 
which species are becoming important sources of income. We believed that docu- 
menting these resources would provide baseline data, since little information cur- 
rently exists on the extent to which these resources are being utilized to generate 
cash. As is common in any marketplace, a wide array of items were sold at the 11 
markets in the survey. We observed raw food; cooked foods, which included snacks 
as well as composite dishes to be purchased and eaten later at home; clothing; dry 
goods; cutlery; firewood; charcoal; and numerous other items. Although no large 
domesticated animals such as pigs, cattle, or buffalo were ever observed for sale, 
occasionally a vendor did have live chickens. 

During the course of the survey of the 11 markets, we recorded a total of 15,789 
items being sold by 5,909 vendors (Table 1). We found that of the 5,909 vendors we 
recorded, 94% were women, 4% were men, and 2% were men and women work- 
ing together. The number and percent of the different types of domestic and non- 
domestic raw foods recorded at the markets are shown in Table 2. Plants repre- 
sented the largest category, and a total of 110 non-domesticated and 130 domesti- 
cated plant food items were identified in the 11 markets. For the whole survey 
period, the total number of non-domesticated plant items per market ranged from 
26 to 64. We recorded 19 different kinds of mushrooms during the survey. A vari- 
ety of non-domesticated animals were recorded at the markets and represented 
13% of the items sold during the survey. Fish were the most common animals seen 
at the markets, with a total of 46 varieties observed. Fifteen different insects were 



TABLE 2.-Number and percent of times raw food items were recorded at the markets by category and type. 



Category 



Non-domestic: 

Number of observances 

% of all observations 

Domestic: 

Number of observations 

% of all observations 
Total observations 
Total % 



Plant 



Fungi 



Amphibian Insect Crustacean Reptile Mammal Bird 



Fish 



Total 



3022 
19.10% 



114 

0.70% 



178 
1 . 1 0% 



268 
1.70% 



437 
2.80% 



21 
0.10% 



3 
0% 



5 



998 



0% 6.30% 



5042 
32% 



10,122 
64% 

13,144 
83% 



2 

0% 

116 

0.70% 



37 

0.20% 

215 

1.30% 





0% 

268 

1.70% 




0% 
437 

2.80% 





0% 

21 

0.10% 



197 
1 .20% 

200 
1 .30% 



310 
2.00% 0.50% 



10,743 
68% 



315 



1073 15,789 



2.00% 6.80% 100% 



o\ 




O 

tn 
Z 

o 

I 

n 

hi 



£ 



On 

z 

o 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



107 



observed during the survey. 



How variable are non-domesticated resources in the marketplace in terms of their diversity 
and availability? — We were interested in evaluating the variation in the occurrence 
of non-domesticated resources in the marketplace. We thought this information 
would provide insight into some of the factors affecting the changing patterns of 
resource use. In particular, we were interested in determining if there were differ- 
ent seasons in which non-domesticated foods predominated and which species 
were commonly utilized throughout the region. 

In terms of overall market activity, we found the hot season (March through 
June) to be the most active period at the markets; 36% of the vendors worked 
during this time period. The markets were slightly less active during the cool (34%) 
and rainy seasons (30%). Seasonal variation in species diversity at the markets 
was significant, with the greatest diversity of items occurring in the hot season 
(Table 3). However, fish were found to be more plentiful and sold in greater vari- 
ety during the rainy season. Few fish species are "reared" or "stocked," so most 
are dependent on rainfall. Plants, insects, amphibians, and crustaceans were most 
abundant and diverse during the hot season, also the period of the most active 
markets. The hot season (February-May) is considered the season of most fre- 
quent food shortage. April, normally the hottest month of the year, was consis- 
tently identified as the most difficult time. Non-domesticated foods are also scarc- 
est during the hot season and few are found in the paddy fields then. In this sea- 
son ponds that retain water and irrigation ditches assume special importance as 
resource areas. Villagers utilize a wide variety of resources during the hot season, 
including crabs, snails, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and insects. Rats (noo puk) 
are eaten more often during this time than at any other season of the year. 

TABLE 3. — Number of different non-domesticated plants recorded at each 
market (11 market sample). 



Market 



KM CP HP WP Bor TK TN BF SEL RE CY Total 



Season 
Hot 



X = 29.4 31 



35 



26 



40 



33 



14 



34 



18 



38 



34 



20 323 



Rainy X = 20.8 14 



21 



7 



35 



20 



15 



30 



15 



27 



31 



14 229 



Cool X = 18.4 17 



14 



14 



20 



24 



7 



21 



13 



23 



33 



16 202 



Total X = 46.6 40 



48 



34 



62 



50 



26 



62 



38 



60 



58 



35 513 



Legend for Markets 



** 



KM 

CP 

HP 

WP 

Bor 

TK 



Kamalasai (Pu) 
Chaturaphak Phiman (Pu) 

Hui Phung (R) 
Wapi Pathum (T) 

Borabu (T) 

Talaat Kaset (T) 



TN 

BF 

Sel 

RE 

CY 



Tuenj-Nathorn (T) 
Ban Fang (R) 
Selaphum (R) 
Roi Et (T) 
Chiang Yun (Pu) 



** 



Species diversity was greatest during the hot season (F = 32.89, df = 20, 2; p < .001) 
Pu=Peri-urban, T=Town, R= Rural 



108 



MORENO-BLACK ET Ah. 



Vol. 16, No.l 



Since the least amount of agricultural activity occurs in the hot season, many 
individuals turn to off-farm activities and wage labor to earn cash. Despite the 
difficulty of obtaining non-domesticated items in the hot season, marketing them 
becomes a viable economic activity, especially for women who have limited ac- 
cess to other cash-generating activities. At this season market activity provides 
important food and cash inputs. Most villagers indicated that if they bought non- 
domesticated foods at all, they did so most often in the hot season when resources 
were scarce and difficult to obtain. 

We were interested in determining which species were most commonly uti- 
lized for income generation, because these species might be under increased se- 
lective pressure locally. We were also interested in patterns of species diversity 
within and among the markets, as these patterns might indicate the impact of 



item 



human 



may 



was considerable variety in the non-domesticated 



markets (Tables 3, 4, 5); only six were found at all 11 markets. Nineteen sp 
mushrooms were observed being sold 99 times over all seasons. There w 
siderable variation in the species of mushrooms seen at the different markets 
5, 6, 7); no species was found at all the markets. Sixteen mushroom speci< 



during 



season. 



TABLE 4. — Number of different non-domesticated plants which were 



more markets 



markets 



25 plants were found at just 



1 



market 



19 plants were found at 

11 plants were found at 

14 plants were found at 

7 plants were found at 

6 plants were found at 

3 plants were found at 

4 plants were found at 
10 plants were found at 

5 plants were found at 

6 plants were found at 



2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
11 



markets 
markets 
markets 
markets 
markets 
markets 
markets 
markets 
markets 
markets 



TABLE 6. 



mushrooms recorded in the 11 market sam 



Season Number of Species Number of Occurrences Number of Markets 



Hot 
Rainy 

Cool 

Total 



11 

16 

3 

19 



34 

38 
22 

99 



8 
10 

8 
11 



most common non-domesticatedfood items 



Scientific Name (Family) 



Plants 
lpomoea aquatica (Convolvulaceae) 
TiJiacora triandra (Menispermaceae) 
Limnocharis flava (Limnocharitaceae) 
Spondias pinnata (Anacardiaceae) 
Glimis spp. (Aizoaceae) 
Carya herbacea (Lycythidaceae) 
Limophila aromatica (Scrophulariaceae) 
Neptunia oleracea (Leguminosae) 

Centella asiatica (Umbel liferae) 
Marsilea crenata (Marsileaceae) 
Bambusa spp. (Gramineae) 
Amorphophallus brevispatkus (Araceae) 
Piper sarmciitomm (Piperaceae) 
Crotoxylon formosum (Guttiferae) 
Melientha suavis (Opiliaceae) 
unk. (Polygonaceae) 

Barringtonia racemosa (Barringtoniaceae) 

unk. 
unk. 
Terminalia chibulaletz (Combretacene) 



Local Name 



Pak bung Thai 
Bai yaanang 
Pak karnjong 
Makok 
Pak gen khom 
Pak kradon pa 
Pak Kra yaeng 
Pak kraced naam 
Bai Bua bok 
Pak waen 
Naiv max pai pa 
Pak-e-rok 
Pak-e-lert pa 
Pak tiew/tueiv 
Pak waan 
Pak paexv 
Pak jik 
Nak ttgacn 

Pak linpii 

Sa-tnor 



Common Name 



Season* 



Number of Number of 



Markets 



Vendors 



Water spinach 



Yellow velvet 
Hog plum 



Water mimosa 
Aquatic pennywort 
Water clover 



Chebulic myrabolan 



HRC 

HRC 

C 

HRC 

HRC 

HRC 

HRC 

HRC 

HRC 

HRC 

HR 

HC 

HRC 

HR 

C 

HRC 
HR 

H 

RC 
C 






9 
9 
9 
9 
9 
8 

s 

7 
7 
6 
6 
6 



223 

159 

170 

144 

44 

69 

55 

44 

60 

26 

51 

39 

39 

38 

24 

15 
14 

6 
12 

6 



3 
3 

•-i 



ON 



o 

c 




> 

r- 
O 

H 

X 

z 

o 

03 



o 

r 4 




< 



Lcittinus praerigidus (I'li-urotaceae) 

Heimiella retispora 

Riiasulii violeipais (Russulaceae) 

Russuln spp. (Russulaceae) 



Mushrooms 
Hcd gkra-dang 
Hcd Phucng 
lied na hie 
Hed Khai 



Oyster mushroom 



HRC 
HRC 
HR 

MR 



10 
4 
3 
3 



57 

10 

4 

4 




Scientific Name (Family) 



Number of Number of 



Insects 
Oecophylla smnragdina (Formicidae) 

Catharsius spp. (Scarabaeidae) 
Lctliocerus indicus (Belostomidae) 
Microtricia spp. (Scarabaeidae) 
Gryllotalpa africana (Gryllidae) 



Anabas testudineus (Anabantidae) 
Opliicephalus striatus 
Clarias spp. 

Puntius gonionti 



Somannia thelpusa 

unk. 

Sinotaia ingallsiana 

Macrobrachium lanchosteri 



local Name 



Mod daeng 
Maeng Kutgee 
Maeng Da na 
Maeng Kinoon 
Maeng gr a chon 

Fish 

Pla moa/mor 
Pla chon 
Pla duk 
Pla ta pean 



Mollusks and Crustaceans 

Poo 

Hoi khoang 

Hoijoob 

Kung 



Common Name 



Red ant egg 

Dung beetle 
Giant water bug 
June beetle 
Mole cricket 



Climbing perch 
Snakehead fish 
Catfish 
Carp 



Crab 

Snail 

Pond snail 

Fresh water shrimp 



Season* 



HR 

HR 

HRC 

HC 

HC 



HRC 
HRC 
HRC 
HRC 



HRC 
HRC 
HR 
HRC 



Markets 



8 

7 
7 

7 
5 



9 
11 

11 
9 



11 
11 
11 
11 



Vendors 



102 

14 

24 

4 

6 



52 
226 
171 

52 



97 
54 
99 
37 




O 

o 

I 

> 

n 

tn 



* H * Hot Season, R = Rainy Season, C = Cool Season 



£ 



On 

S 

z 

o 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



111 



TABLE 7. — Number of different mushroom species recorded at one or more markets 
of a total of 19 soecies recorded at all markets. 



10 mushroom species were found at just 



1 



market 



5 mushrooms species were found at 

2 mushrooms species were found at 

1 mushrooms species was found at 

1 mushrooms species was found at 



2 

3 

4 

10 



markets 
markets 
markets 
markets 



TABLE 8. 
markets. 



number of nondomesticated animal 



Season Fish 



Amphibian 



Mammal 



Hot 
Rainy 
Cool 
Total 



26 
35 

32 

46 



15 
9 
7 

15 



7* 
4 

3 
7 



9 
4 

5 

9 



1 

2 

1 

2 




2 
1 
2 





1 
1 



58 
56 
50 
82 



* Statistically significant differences (F = 17.51, df = 12, 2; p < .001) 

Insects, amphibians, and crustaceans were sold most often and in greatest 
variety in the hot season (Tables 5 and 8). Mammals, birds, and reptiles were rare 
throughout the survey. The low numbers of the latter is most likely related to the 
extensive deforestation of northeastern Thailand in the recent past. Fish were most 
available during the rainy and the cool seasons. As with plants, notable differ- 
ences were found among the markets in terms of the species of fish offered for 
sale. Three species of fish were found at all markets and two species at nine mar- 
kets. These fish occur naturally and are also either commonly stocked or reared 
(Table 5). Fish are among the most important foods gathered from natural sources 
and are considered staples. Fish are significant sources of protein, fat, and other 
nutrients. Wet rice agriculture and seasonal bouts of rainfall have led to the devel- 
opment of various stocking and management techniques. These, coupled with tra- 



methods 



customs and government 



grams 



insects occurred at all markets 



more markets. Two species were found in only one market 

smaragdina) 



mixed 



observed 102 times 



most frequently observed of all the insects. These 



sour vegetables orjaew (side dish used for dipping, often fish sauce based), fried 
with eggs or pork or mixed in fishes (Thai curry). The giant water bug, maeng 
da na (Lethocerus indicus), was the second most common insect food, observed 24 
times. This very popular insect is commonly used to make jeaw, grilled or eaten m 

port pla, a steamed fish dish. 

Four of the nine crustacean species occurred at all eleven markets (Table 5). 
iw* (Ttnna smO were found at ten markets; the other six amphibians were 

These included a variety of "toads" (e.g., kee-at e- 



found at four or fewer markets 



112 MORENO-BLACK ET Ah. Vol. 16,No.l 



\ kee-at ta-na). Two types of reptiles were found at the markets: grounc 
;, yae (Lioalepis spp.), were recorded nine times at four markets, and tu 
e seen four times at two markets. Field rats were the main wild mammals 
le markets. We recorded them twice, both times in the cool season. Two d 
types of birds were also observed, but we did not collect specimens anc 
obtain scientific identifications for them. The birds, like the mammals 



times in two 



markets 



What factors are important in the choice of non-domesticated resources ft 



marketplace': 



? 



domesticated 



marketplace, we 



domesticated food at the markets and obtained information in one focus village 
during the year. The age of the vendors ranged from seven to 76 years, with a 
mean of 42 years (sd=15 years). 

All of the vendors spoke of the need to earn money. Income earned from the 
sale of these items was important to the vendors. Although they were not able to 
support their families from their market activities alone, they indicated that the 
cash they earned was used for basic household needs, such as food, clothing, and 
utility bills, and for school fees, religious purposes, and savings. The vendors sold 

an average of four days per week (sd = 2; range = 1-7 days/ 



markets 



wee 



The 183 different non-domesticated items sold by these vendors inch 
its, algae, mushrooms, fish, crustaceans, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects 



amphibians. The 



gae (2%), mushrooms (6%), bamboo (4%), 
The leafv greens — the most common item 



in these markets — commanded the low ... r 

$0.04) per unit. Fruits, mushrooms, and bamboo, rarer and more seasonal ii 
occurrence, were considered especially delicious and commanded a higher 
three to ten Bhat (U.S. $0.10-0.40) per unit. 

Many food plants are considered to have health-promoting or medicinal 
ties. Thus the domains of food and medicine overlap considerably. Food { 
ences are guided by qualities of taste, smell, and texture, which also inf] 
health-promoting choices. Many local people expressed concern about th< 
levels of pesticides used in the region. Nevertheless, some villagers believ 
these non-agricultural items are healthier than domesticated Dlant foods, d 



many are obtained from 



chemical 



Non-domesticated 



greatly embellish the diet. Both the vendors and the people in the focus 
discussed the taste qualities of the non-domesticated food items. They consi 
judged that the non-domesticated foods were "more delicious" or "smelled 
compared to domesticated food. The qualities of these food add to the taste 
whole meal, which is judged best when it includes hot, sour, and salty f 
Taste was an important factor affecting the choice of items for sale, as w 



// 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 1 13 



price of the item. 

Fish, amphibians, and certain insects are especially favored items in the diet. 
Compared to plants they often commanded a high price. The vendors were aware 
of the popularity of these items and specifically sought to obtain them for sale, 
especially during seasons when they were not abundant. Taste as well as nutri- 
tional value and health /medicinal-related factors also influenced the popularity 
of the animal resources. Some live animals, such as turtles, birds, and even frogs 
or toads, may be purchased to be liberated as a form of merit-making. 



Are there practices or behaviors that change when items are used for income rather than 
solely for home consumption? — Finally, we were interested in identifying cultural 
and social changes related to the increased use of wild and semi-domesticated 
resources as sources of income. We were specifically interested in management 
activities, as for example, transplanting vegetation into intensively utilized or oc- 
cupied areas involves a process of management and manipulation with long-term 
effects on human-plant relationships. 

Plant and mushroom food resources were obtained from a number of differ- 
ent resource areas: forests (28%); paddies (23%); gardens (23%); water sources such 
as ponds, canals, and swamps (22%); and other areas, such as the house com- 
pound and upland garden areas (4%). A significant proportion of vendors indi- 
cated that the plant items they sold could be transplanted to make them more 
accessible and to conserve them, since much of the area is being rapidly defor- 
ested. Plant vendors were knowledgeable about a wide variety of management 
practices for the nurturance and maintenance of plants that were transplanted 
(Moreno-Black 1991; Moreno-Black et a\. 1994). 

Twenty-two percent of the animal vendors indicated that they knew how to 
manage the animals they harvested, most referring to fish. A small proportion of 
the vendors also mentioned that they "raised" snails, insects, rats, amphibians, 
and/or reptiles. Fish, snails, and amphibians were "raised" by releasing them in 
privately owned ponds, but only fish were specifically fed and protected. Vendors 
and villagers also discussed capturing live rats and maintaining and feeding them 



were 



mals 



animals were collected from 



rivers, irrigation canals, forests), 22% from privately owned areas. Among the ven- 
dors of animal food items, a difference of opinion existed concerning collecting 
from other people's property for selling and for eating. Thirty-nine percent of the 
vendors indicated it was unacceptable to collect from another's resource area when 
collecting for selling, while only 16% said it was unacceptable when collecting for 
domestic consumption. Eighty-nine percent of the plant vendors indicated they 
felt it was acceptable to collect food from resource areas other than their own if 
they were collecting for their own consumption, but only 50% of the vendors felt it 
was acceptable to collect items for sale from resource areas that belonged to other 
individuals. (Forty percent indicated that this practice was not appropriate, while 
eight percent said it was acceptable under certain conditions.) 

Information obtained from both the vendors and the villagers showed a shift 



114 MORENO-BLACK ET AL. Vol. 16, No.l 



in personal relationships with a decrease in sharing of resources through time. 
They spoke of how in the past there were many more plants and animals. It had 
been easy to obtain food. But now some items were difficult to find. They said 
they often transplanted items to their house gardens because they were afraid the 
plants were going extinct, or that the areas where they grew naturally had been 
cut down. A variety of animals were also being raised or cared for, and informa- 
tion about the possibility of extending this practice to other species was spreading 
among individuals. The movement of these food items to privately owned locales, 
such as the area around a house, marks a change in the relationship between people 
and resources. Once re-located in the personal compounds of a family, plants be- 
come part of an area considered to be privately owned and the availability of these 
items to the village as a whole is therefore limited. 



CONCLUSIONS 



Non-domesticated and semi-domesticated foods in the market system in north- 
eastern Thailand fill an important niche. These items, a vital part of the traditional 
lifestyle, are now a significant part of the commercial exchange system. These re- 
sources contribute to individual, household, and community welfare in a complex 
manner. While the supplier population is primarily rural, the consumer popula- 
tion is comprised of both rural and urban individuals. As villagers continue to 
seek wage employment, they experience a decrease in the time available for col- 
lecting their own food and turn increasingly to purchased foods in the villages 
and local markets. Demands for these items also increase as they become more 
valued as luxury or "exotic" foods for urban populations attempting to retain their 
traditional dietary patterns. 

In the expanding cash economy of the region, the ability to obtain and control 
earnings can empower individuals; thus the motivation for obtaining cash increases. 
In northeastern Thailand the sale of non-domesticated foods provides a valuable 
and important source of income. This cash is used to meet household needs and 
financial obligations. The avenues for obtaining cash continue to be limited, espe- 
cially for women, and consequently marketing has flourished as both a temporary 
and permanent means of economic employment. 

The striking variability in non-domesticated food resources in the markets 
emphasizes the urgency for researchers to document the wide range of resources. 
Similarly, changes in environmental-use patterns — for example, increased reloca- 
tion of resources into paddy and garden areas, increased management of resources, 
and increased privatization — suggest the need for continued documentation of 
these dynamic processes. 

Food, food procurement, and food distribution practices transform many as- 
pects of life; they influence social relationships and social control, affect economic 
practices, instill power or prestige, and alter human-environment relationships 
and the rules governing these connections (Fajans 1988; Moreno-Black 1991; 
Moreno-Black et al. 1994). Through gathering and marketing activities, an inten- 
sive interaction results in the selection, consumption, and exchange of forest prod- 
ucts and other gathered items. The growth in the popularity of marketing non- 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 115 



domesticated resources is changing the patterns of resource exploitation. The in- 
creased demand for these items will inevitably put additional strains on the re- 
source base, especially those food items that are considered to have high market 
value because of inherent qualities of taste and ease of collection. On the other 
hand, as certain items become more in demand, the push to cultivate them may 
increase; these items will consequently be afforded some protection from extinc- 
tion, although they will be changed somewhat in the transformation. 

Finally, as the use of local non-domesticated and semi-domesticated resources 
as cash generators increases, we anticipate that cultural practices concerning the 
management and gathering of these resources will continue to evolve. Pressure 
from commercialization of these resources is altering the traditional system. This 
system emphasized sharing and encouraged reliance on a wide resource base dis- 
tributed across a variety of habitats as a hedge against the drought and flood con- 
ditions that characterized the region. These changing use patterns are also liable 
to have significant consequences for the ethnobiological knowledge base, since 
that knowledge is greatly shaped by experience. The changes in the variety of 
items selected for use coupled with the diminished availability of resources may 
lead to a constriction of the traditional knowledge system. We need to better un- 
derstand how the commercialization of resources is affecting their availability. This 
contextualization of differential use patterns is essential for understanding cul- 
tural and environmental change in the region. 



NOTES 



1 Plant resources often exist on a continuum from truly wild through semi-domesticated to 
domesticated. Active or incipient manipulation of resources and habitats can also occur on 
a continuum from selective harvesting through propagation and selective breeding. Vari- 
ous terms have been utilized to describe these different types of resources. In this article 
we use the term non-domesticated to indicate any resource that is not actively managed 
and propagated to the extent that it would be altered genetically. 

2 This system allowed us to obtain an overview of all the items sold during one continuous 
period. Once an aisle was recorded, we did not return to that aisle; nor did we record 
information from individuals who set up after we had already surveyed an aisle. Although 
this method caused us to lose some data, we felt that it ensured the best "moment in time" 
picture of the marketplace and enabled us to avoid recording some stalls more than once. 

3 All interviews were conducted at the market, during market hours, while the vendors 

,,. ... _ . . « _ j •_ ^11^..T *TS**-»As^-rc ¥r% rnnHnrt iTPmS- 



Every 



Interviewing 



the items from view or to impede traffic in the narrow, busy aisles. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



This study was part of a larger project focusing on the marketing and use of non- 
lesticated, indigenous plants and animals in the northeastern part of Thailand, ine 
ect was supported by grants from The Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropologica 
ttrch, The National Geographic Society, and a Fulbright Hayes Southeast Asian Regiona 
*rch Award. We would like to thank the staff of the National Research Council of 



116 



MORENO-BLACK ET AL. 



Vol. 16, No. 1 



Thailand 



We 



for their patience, help, information, and hospitality. Special thanks go to Karen Clausen, 

Guido Bondioli, Lauren Spitz, Debby Coulthard, Karen Dietrich, and Jean Beveridge who 

assisted us during the data-management phase of the project and encouraged us throughout 

this project. We wish to express our gratitude to Mrs. Doris Wibunsin and Mrs. Apiram of 

the U.S.-Thailand Educational Foundation for their help and encouragement. Finally, we 

thank the anonymous reviewers who provided helpful and constructive comments on the 
manuscript. 



LITERATURE 



BYE, ROBERT, AND EDELMIRA 
LINARES. 1983. The role of plants found 
in the Mexican markets and their 
importance in ethnobotanical studies. 
Journal of Ethnobiology 3:1-13. 

1990. Mexican market plants of 

16th century. I. Plants recorded in 
Historia Natural De Nueva Espana 
Journal of Ethnobiology 10:151-168. 

DE BEER, J. H. and McDERMOTT, M. J. 
1989. The Economic Value of Non- 
timber Forest Products in Southeast 
Asia With Emphasis on Indonesia, 
Malaysia, and Thailand. Netherlands 
Committee for the IUCN and WWF, 
Amsterdam. 

DHANAMITTA, SAKORN, PRAPASRI 
PU WASTIEN and JINTAN A YHOUNG- 
AREE. 1988. Fermented Fish Products 
Study (Thailand). Phase I. Baseline 
Study Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol 
University, Salaya, Thailand. 

FAJANS, J. 1988. The transformative value 
of food: A review essay. Food and 
Foodways 3:143-166. 

HAFNER, J. A. 1990. Forces and policy 
issues affecting forest use in northeast 
Thailand 1900-1985. Pp. 69-94 in 
Keepers of the Forest. M. Poffenberger 
(editor). Kumarian Press, West 
Hartford, Connecticut. 

HIGHAM, C.F.W. 1982. Prehistoric rice 
cultivation in southeast Asia. Scientific 
American 250:138-146. 

JACQUAT, CHRISTIANE. 1990. Plants 
from the markets of Thailand. Editions 
Duang Kamol, Bangkok. 

JOHNSON, E. J. and T. J. JOHNSON. 1976. 
Economic plants in a rural Nigerian 
market. Economic Botany 30:375-381. 

LEVIN, PENNY. 1992. Non-timber forest 
products: Wild edible plant resources in 
Southern Thailand. Pp. 35-58 in Society 
and Non-Timber Forest Products in 



West 



Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. 
MORENO-BLACK. GERAL1 



Traditional foods in northeastern 
Thailand: Environmental cultural and 
economic factors. Paper presented at the 
American Anthropological Association 
Meetings, Chicago. 
1994. Gathered food and culture 



change: Traditions in transition in 
northeastern Thailand. Journal of Home 
and Consumer Horticulture 1:93-107. 
MORENO-BLACK, GERALDINE and LISA 
PRICE. 1993. The marketing of gathered 
food as an economic strategy in north- 
eastern Thailand. Human Organization 
52:398-404. 



M 



PRAPIMPORN SOMNASANG, and 
SOMPON THAMTHAWAN. 1994. 
Women in northeastern Thailand: 
Preservers of botanical diversity. 
Indigenous Knowledge and Develop- 
ment Monitor 2(3):24. 
GAMSOMSUKE, KAMOL, PRASAT 
SAENCHAI,PANOMSAK 
PROMBUROM and BUNTHOM 
SURAPORN. 1987. Farmers 7 attitudes 
toward forest plantation and 
conservation farming in selected 
villages of the Phu Wiang Valley, Khon 
Kaen. FAO/UNDP Report: Integrated 
Development of The Phu Wiang 
Watershed Project. Khon Kaen 



Khon 



NGARMSAK, TIPVANNA. 1987. Status 
and nutritional importance of 
unconventional food crops in the Thai 
diets. Report submitted to Regional 
Office For Asia and The Pacific (RAPA), 
FAO. Bangkok. 

PEI SHENG-JI. 1987. Human interactions 
with natural ecosystems: The flow and 
use of minor forest and other ecosystem 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



117 



products of Phu Wiang, northeast 
Thailand. Pp. 129-199 in Ecosystems 
Interactions Study of a Rural Landscape: 
The Case of Phu Wiang Watershed, 
Northeast Thailand. Southeast Asian 
Universities Agroecosystem Network, 
East- West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. 

1988. Plant products and 

ethnicity in the markets of 
Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, 
China. Pp. 119-142 in Ethnic Diversity 
and the Control of Natural Resources in 
Southeast Asia. Number 32. T. Rambo, 
K. Gillogly and K.L. Hutterer (editors). 
Center for South and Southeast Asian 
Studies, University of Michigan, Ann 
Arbor. 

PHITHAKPOL, BULAN. 1990. Preface. Pp. 
9 in Plants from the Markets of Thailand. 
C. Jacquat (editor). D. K. Bookhouse, 
Bangkok. 

PRADIPASEN, MANDHANA, RATTANA- 
PORN CHAROENPONG, PARADEE 
TEMCHAROEN, and YAWASAT PORA 
PAKKHAM. 1985. Nangrong Dietary 
Survey. Institute for Population and 
Social Research, Mahidol University, 

Salaya, Thailand. 
RAMITANONDH, SHALARDCHAI. 1989. 
Forests and deforestation in Thailand. 
Pp. 25-30 in Culture and Environment 
in Thailand: A Pandisciplinary 
Approach. A Symposium of The Siam 

Society, Bangkok. 

SCHLAGE, C. 1969. Observations at a local 
market in Usambara. Pp. in Invest- 
igations into Health and Nutrition in 
East Africa. H. Kraut and H.-D. Cremer 
(editors). Weltforum Verlag, Munich. 

SCOONES, IAN, MARY MELNYK, and 
JULES N. PRETTY. 1992. The Hidden 
Harvest: Wild Foods and Agricultural 
Systems. A Literature Review and 



Annotated Bibliography. International 
Institute for Environment and 
Development, London. 

SOLHEIM, WILLIAM G., II. 1986. Early 
Bronze Age in northeastern Thailand. 
Current Anthropology 9:59-62. 

SOMNASANG, PRAPIMPORN, PAGARAT 
RATHAKETTE, and SUMALEE 
RATHANAPANYA. 1988. The role of 
natural foods in northeast Thailand. Pp. 
in Rapid Rural Appraisal in Northeast 
Thailand. Case Studies. G. Lovelace, S. 
Subhadhira, and S. Simaraks (editors). 
KKU-FORD Rural Systems Research 
Project, Khon Kaen University, Khon 
Kaen, Thailand. 

TONTISIRIN, KRAISID, JINTANA 
YHOUNG-AREE, SRITRANG CHAN- 
TAPIROMSUK, KALAYANEE CHUN- 
CHERD, PAIWAN TONTIWATT- 
ASATION, KONGKARN SRIAN- 
UJATA, and AMARA SUKSANG- 
PLENG. 1986. Annual Report 1985/86 
Thailand Food Habits Project. ASEAN 
Sub-Committee on Protein: Good 
Habits Research and Development. 
ASEAN-Australian Economic Coop- 
eration Program, Bangkok. 

WANATABE, HIROYUKI and ROJCHAI 
SATRAWAHA. 1984. A list of edible 
insects sold at the public market in Khon 
Kaen, northeast Thailand. Southeast 



Asian Studies 22:316-325. 



WESTER 



LYNDON 



and 



DINA 



CHUENSANGUANSAT. 1994. Adop- 
tion and abandonment of Southeast 
Asian food plants. Journal of Home and 
Consumer Horticulture 1:83-92. 
WHITAKER, T. W. and HUGH C. CUTLER. 
1966. Food plants in a Mexican market. 
Economic Botany 20:6-16 



118 NEWS AND COMMENTS Vol. 16, No.l 



NEWS AND COMMENTS 



THE 5TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



The 5th International Congress of Ethnobiology will take place in 
Nairobi, Kenya, September 2-6, 1996. The Congress has occurred every two 
years since 1988 and is held under the auspices of the International Society 
for Ethnobiology. The 5th Congress has the theme "Ethnobiology and con- 
servation of cultural and biological diversity/' For more information contact 
Christine H.S. Kabuye, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658, Nairobi, 
KENYA, Telephone: 254-2-742131/4 or 254-2-743513, Fax: 254-2-741424. E- 



mail: Kenrik@tt.sasa.unep.no or Kenrik@tt.gn.apc.org 



THE 20TH ANNUAL SOCIETY OF ETHNOBIOLGY MEETING 

The Society of Ethnobiology will hold its 20th anniversary meeting 
March 26-29, 1997 at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Our host will be 
the Department of Anthropology. Abstracts are due January 15, 1997. Con- 
tact Bryan LaBau for information or to submit an abstract: 

Bryan LaBau 

Society of Ethnobiology 20th Annual Meeting 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Georgia 

Athens, GA 30602-1619 

Phone: (706) 542-1433 

Fax: (706) 542-3998 

E-mail: lbryan@uga.cc.uga.edu 



A NEW ELECTRONIC FORUM 



Dr. Dana Lepofsky, Department of Anthropology, Simon Fraser University, 
Vancouver, B.C. has set up an e-mail bulletin board at the address 



ethno-bio@sfu.ca 



If you would like to participate you may subscribe by sending the following 
message (don't include quotation marks) to the list processor at Simon Fraser 
University 

maj ordomo@sf u.ca 

"subscribe ethno-bio end" 



Use this service to engage in exchanges of information and to debate issues of 
interest. Remember to observe the customary etiquette. This is a public forum. 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 119 



MEDICINAL PLANT SPECIALIST GROUP 



A new IUCN SSC Specialist Group is in place.— -In May 1994, the SSC Plant Con- 
servation Subcommittee recommended that a Medicinal Plant Specialist Group 
(MPSG) should be formed in response to rising concerns from many independent 
experts about plant conservation issues relating to medicinal plants. Following 
this meeting, Tony Cunningham and Uwe Schippmann were appointed co-chairs 
of the MPSG. Since then, more than 30 members have been invited to join the 
group and membership is still growing. Members were selected on the basis of 
strategic geographic location, professional interest, and their role as people who 
could network within regions. 

The group is still in its formative stage. A draft concept and working program 
was prepared in May 1994 and sent out to all prospective members. A first meet- 
ing of the MPSG is planned for late 1995 or early 1996. Details about the group and 
developments in medicinal plant conservation will be made available through the 
MPSG Newsletter which will be published on a regular basis. The first issue is in 
preparation and will serve to keep members of the group, as well as a much broader 
interest group, informed about the issues relating to the conservation of medicinal 
plants. 

The Problem. — Herbal medicines are used by a high proportion of rural and 
urban people in developing countries for their symbolic and medical value. There 
is also a renewed interest in industrialized countries in traditional medicinal plants 
as a source of chemical leads for new pharmaceuticals. Harvesting of medicinal 
plants, whether for export, sale, or local use is highly species specific. Species loss 
through this process has global implications. Its most immediate and earliest ef- 
fect is the loss of self-sufficiency of the rural people using these species. 

Despite immense public interest in medicinal plants and development of guide- 
lines for conservation of medicinal plants (WHO et al. 1993; Heywood et al. 1991), 
coordinated international action for conservation and sustainable harvesting pro- 
grams for medicinal plants has been limited. 

The Focus.— The MPSG will be concentrating its efforts on vulnerable species 
for which demand exceeds supply from wild populations. Here, the greatest con- 
servation threat is faced by high demand 



same time the MPSG will promote 



with threats to medicinal 



taxa that are already in decline. 

The biodiversity prospecting debate needs to be recognized by the MPSG as 
an issue in which conservation aspects need to be further developed (Cunningham 
1993). This includes the important issue of benefit sharing through commercial- 
ization of natural resources as an incentive for habitat conservation infrastructure 
in order to protect medicinal plant populations in source countries. 

The major task for the MPSG will be to make a general assessment of the situ- 
ation, define objectives, set priorities of medicinal plant conservation, and draw 
up an Action Plan with both taxonomic and geographic focus. The Action Plan 
will review the conservation needs of taxa and recommend conservation action 



120 



NEWS AND COMMENTS 



Vol. 16, No.l 



sufficient to ensure the long-term survival of these species. Action planning is the 
best means for the MPSG to play its role as advisory and catalytic committee for 
other bodies. As a first step, it is proposed to draw up national reports which 
review existing information on medicinal plants in local, regional, and interna- 
tional trade and short-list species for special attention. 

Any material and news on the conservation of medicinal plants would be grate- 
fully received. Contact address: Dr. Uwe Schippmann, Co-Chair, Medicinal Plant 
Specialist Group, Bundesamt fur Naturschutz, Konstantinstrasse 110, D-53179 



Bonn, Germany. 



LITERATURE CITED 



WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, 
INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR THE 
CONSERVATION OF NATURE, and 
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND. 1993. 
Guidelines on the Conservation of 

Medicinal Plants. IUCN, Gland, 
Switzerland. 
HEYWOOD, V., H. SYNGE, and O. 



AKERLE (editors). 1991. Conservation 
of Medicinal Plants. Cambridge 
University Press. 



CUNNINGHAM, A. B. 1993. Ethics, 
Ethnobotanical Research and Bio- 
diversity. WWF International, Gland, 
Switzerland. 



THE AKHA MEDICINE PLANT PROJECT 



Nancy J. Turner, Environmental Studies Program, University of Victoria 



V8W 



137/3, Chiang Mai 



Majeu, SEAMP 



As many ethnobiologists are aware, traditional knowledge of indigenous 
peoples is being replaced by information and practices from external industrial 
urban-based megacultures. While not all changes are negative, the loss of tradi- 
tional environmental knowledge, cultural values, and language is tragic. Frequently 
occurring with loss of traditional culture is environmental degradation, which gen- 
erally accompanies large-scale commodity production. These are among the great- 
est misfortunes facing humans today, and are certainly among the hardest to 
overcome. 

Among the many important initiatives to reverse these trends is the Akha 
Medicine Plant Project. The Akha are one of several distinct cultural and linguistic 
groups living in the forested mountainous region of northern Thailand. Emerging 
as a distinct group more than 3,000 years ago near what is now Tibet, they mi- 
grated to and settled in southern Yunnan, in what is now southern China, and 
neighboring areas. War and pressure from Thai and Chinese lowland peoples have 
increasingly forced them into the mountains of Burma, Laos, and Thailand. They 
have been established in northern Thailand for about 100 years (Von Geusau 1982). 
Increasingly, the lifestyles of the Akha are threatened by urban development, de- 
forestation, encroachment of outsiders, forced resettlement, and lack of official 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 121 



recognition of land rights. Logging and reforestation with pine and eucalyptus 
trees have dramatically affected water courses and levels in the mountains. 

The Akha have a rich tradition of using herbal medicines from the forests, 
fields, and gardens of their home regions. A preliminary study showed that about 
90% of plants collected around villages were used by Akha villagers. These in- 
clude medicines for over 60 types of illnesses and afflictions, ranging from broken 
bones and sprains to insect bites, diarrhea, jaundice, and childbirth problems. Plants 
are also used, alone or in various combinations, for medicinal tonics to maintain 
health and strength (Bragg 1989). 

As Akha children become exposed to outside influences through education 
and the search for employment, they lose important links to their traditional lan- 
guage and culture. They are no longer taught traditional skills people would have 
absorbed readily in times past, such as the gathering and preparation of medi- 
cines (Ajopho 1989, Von Geusau 1989). The people are caught in a dilemma. How 
can they maintain their cultural integrity? How can they give their children the 
education and skills needed to survive in an international commercial economy 
while instilling in them a sense of the importance of their cultural heritage and the 
value, both philosophical and practical, of the traditional knowledge of their elders? 

A counter movement, started by Akha headmen in the late 1970's, has tried to 
keep Akha culture and traditional knowledge alive as part of education and de- 
velopment (Von Geusau 1992). The Akha Medicine Plant Project, a part of this 
movement, aims to: 



record as much as possible the knowledge of the elders — especially the elderly 
women — of several Akha villages in Chiang Rai Province; 

document the plants used and teach the younger people in the community 
particularly university students in Chiang Mai — the procedures for document- 
ing plant medicines; 

encourage the continued practice and the use of traditional medicines in pri- 
mary health care in the communities; 

demonstrate the importance of community forests (and also customary laws 
that promote conservation) to the survival of the Akha people, through their con- 
tinuing provision of plant medicines, food, and materials needed for living; 

employ traditional knowledge and use of plants, linked with the mapping of 
ancestral lands by the villagers, to enhance and restore forests and fields as a vital 
part of the Akha environment and economy. 



The news of this Akha Medicine Plant Project has attracted the attention of 
Hani/ Akha people in Yunnan and Burma, who are planning to follow this model. 
It will also be an important item on the agenda of the Second International Hani/ 

Akha Culture Study Conference in May 1996. 

In May 1995 Nancy Turner was invited, together with elder teachers, to give a 
three-day workshop with Akha students, staff, and researchers on documenting 



collecting plant vouchers. Specimens were made 



medicines 



medicines 



122 



NEWS 



Vol. 16, No.l 



Akha people will be one of the outcomes of the project. Following the documenta- 
tion of medicinal plants, there will be a study of the contribution of traditional 
foods, condiments, and beverages to Akha diet and nutrition. Other types of tra- 
ditional knowledge, including forest, land, and water management, also need fur- 
ther research. Members of the Society of Ethnobiology interested in learning more 
about these activities may contact SEAMP-CD-RDI (South-East Asian Mountain 
Peoples — Thailand Culture and Development, Research, Documentation and In- 
formation Programs) at the address listed above for Leo A. Von Geusau and Aphi 
Deuleu (AvGeusau) Majeu. As the value of medicinal plants and other non-timber 
forest products is recognized, projects such as the Akha Medicine Plant Project 
can serve as models for cultural and environmental sustainability; they deserve 
strong support from all of us. 



Figure 1. — Aphi Deu Dzoebaw collecting and teaching about Akha medicine plants. 




Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



123 




Figure 2.— Aphi Deu Dzoebaw (left) and Aph 
uses of a wild ginger with Leo A. Von Geusau. 



Majeu discuss the medicinal 



LITERATURE CITED 



AJOPHO, MIDGE. 1989. The disappearing 
Akha medical knowledge. Life on the 
Mountain Newsletter l(2):34-40. 

BRAGG, KATHERINE. 1989. Traditional 
medicine and use of plants. Life on the 
Mountain Newsletter l(2):2-7. 

VON GEUSAU, LEO G. M. ALTING. 1989. 
Culture and development: what does it 



mean in relation to mountain peoples? 



Thai 



VON GEUSAU, LEO G. M. ALTING. 1992. 
Regional development in northern 
Thailand: Its impact on Highlanders. 
Pp. 143-173 in Lore: Documenting and 
Applying Traditional Knowledge. 
Martha Johnson (editor). International 
Development Research Centre, Ottawa. 



124 GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS Vol. 16, No.l 



GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS 



GENERAL INFORMATION 



The Journal of Ethnobiology invites manuscripts based on original research in 
any area of ethnobiology (ethnobotany, ethnozoology) including, but not limited 
to: folk biological classification and nomenclature, traditional environmental 
knowledge, ethnoecology, indigenous natural resource management, plant and 
animal domestication, zooarchaeology, archaeological botany, medical and nutri- 
tional ethnobiology, and the roles of plants and animals in the intellectual, aes- 



material 



instructions and suggestions for man 



Typing and printing the manuscript. — Manuscripts should be submitted both 
as hardcopy and in digital form on a computer diskette. Hardcopy should be 
printed on an inkjet or laser printer. Typewritten manuscripts will be accepted if 
the author(s) do not have access to computers. The text should be double spaced 
throughout (including abstracts, text, literature cited, legends, and notes) on 21.5 
x 28 cm (8.5 x 11 in) paper with at least 2.5 cm (one inch) marein on all sides. 



Illustrations. — The 



maps, are figures and should be numbered 



in which they should appear in the text. Illustrations should be submit 



within a Journal 



metric scales included 



prints 



name(s) on the back along with the figure number i 
f the figure. Legends for figures should be printed 



m 



Tables. — Tables should complement the text. Tabular material 



sim 



format 



word processor program. Rows and columns of infor 



mation must be clearlv demarcated 



tation as needed. Adjust column widths to conserve space without loss of clarity. 
Each table should be printed on a separate page (or pages) and appended to the 
manuscript. Tables must include brief, self-explanatory titles. The image area on a 
Journal page measures approximately 20 x 12.5 cm (5 x 8 in). Take this into account 
in preparing tables. 



names and voucher specimens 



names 



must be italicized (underlined in typescript). Authors of all but the most familiar 
species of plants and animals should be cited the first time each is mentioned in 
the text. The locations where voucher specimens have been deposited for curation 
should be noted. The rationale for these requirements can be found in: 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 1 25 



BYE, ROBERT A., JR. 1986. Voucher specimens in ethnobiological studies and publications. 
Journal of Ethnobiology 6:1-8. 

REA, AMADEO M. 1986. Verification and reverification. Problems in archaeofaunal studies. 
Journal of Ethnobiology 6:9-18. 

KUHNLEIN, HARRIET V 1986. Food sample collection for nutrient analysis in 

ethnobiological studies. Journal of Ethnobiology 6:19-25. 
HUNN, EUGENE S. 1992. The use of sound recordings as voucher specimens and stimulus 

materials in ethnozoological research. Journal of Ethnobiology 12:187-198. 



Native language terminology. — If native terminology is used as data, a con- 
sistent phonemic orthography or practical alphabet should be employed. A brief 
characterization of the orthographic conventions used should be given in an 
endnote at the first occurrence in the text. To increase readability native terms 



should be indicated by bold-face italics (undedined in typescript) to contrast with 



normal use of italic type for foreign terms and Latin binomials. The distinction 
between lexical glosses, i.e., English (or Spanish) language approximations of a 
term's referential meaning, and precise English (or Spanish) equivalents or defini- 
tions should be indicated by enclosing glosses in single quotation marks. 



Miscellaneous. — Use metric units for all measurements; English units may 
be added in parentheses. Do not place footnotes at the bottom of text pages; list 
these in order on a separate page at the end of the manuscript under the first- 
order heading "NOTES." 



Submitting the manuscript.— Submit all English language manuscri 
Journal Editor. All Spanish language manuscripts should be submitted to i 



Kors must submit two hardcopies of I 
inch computer diskette prepared in 



word processing format. Camera 



must 



ORGANIZATION 



Title page.— The title page is primarily for the convenience of the editorial 
staff. Center the title of the manuscript in capital letters. Lower on the page center 
the name and affiliation and address of the first named author, then any of the co- 
authors. On the lower third of the page, give telephone numbers for at least the 
first-named author. Below this, give information relating to any temporary ad- 
dresses (e.g. summer address, field address). The title and name(s), affiliation(s) 
and address(es) of the author(s) are to be repeated on the first page of the actual 
manuscript as vou would like them to appear in the Journal 



Abstract.— With rare exceptions (e.g., a position paper) each manuscript must 
include an informative one paragraph abstract which briefly (i.e., in less than 200 
words) summarizes the information presented in the text. The format for the ab- 



differs from that of the rest of the text in 



// 



ABSTRACT" is 



line flush with the left margin and is capitalized 



the abstract is not indented. The abstract in 



126 GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS Vol 16, No.l 



(RESUMEN) and in French (RESUME) 



of the Journal Please list as well ft 
manuscript for indexing ournose 



Examples can be found in recent volumes 



— Center first-order headings on a separate line, separated from 
graph by two carriage returns. Headings are written in capital 



ters. The heading "GENERAL INFORMATION" in this "Guidelines 



// 



mar 



gin, written in capital and lower case letters, italicized ( underlined in typescript), 
followed by a period and a long dash ("em dash") and are separated by two double 
spaces from the preceding paragraph (as in the present paragraph). If third-order 
headings are necessary, they are written in capital and lower case letters, indented 
as in a normal paragraph, and followed by a period. Text immediately follows a 
third-order heading. There are examples of third-order headings in this "Guide- 
lines for Authors" under "Citations," below. Do not use more than three orders of 
headings. 



Citations. — Italicize ( underline in typescript) titles of books and journals that 
appear in the text of your manuscript. For example, "Schultes and Raffauf (1990) 
in their book The Healing Forest: Medicinal and Toxic Plants of the Northwest Amazon 
report that..." This style is permitted occasionally for variety. Generally, titles of 
published works do not appear in the text. Follow examples below to cite previ- 
ously published articles, books, and materials. Note that commas separate mul- 
tiple works by a single author, semicolons separate works bv different authors. 



Single reference. Gade (1985) or (Gade 1985). 



Multiple references. Posey (1984, 1986) or (Posey 1984, 1986). Posey (1986) and 
Balee (1989), (Posey 1986; Balee 1989), or (Posey 1984, 1986; Balee 1989). 



Multiple authors. Farrington ar 
more than two authors: Klippel 



We 



ficult, often impossible, for the reader to verify or check the interpretation of ma- 
terial cited in this way. If it is absolutely necessary to use an unpublished source, 
please aid the reader by providing additional information as a note, e.g., the name 
and address of the person being quoted or paraphrased or the name and address 



d/or institution where the information is on fil 
^tailed information to be placed in the "NOTES" 



un 



in the "LITERATURE CITED" section. Follow these 



exam 



Joe E. Doe (personal communication 1989) 1 , or John E. Doe (written commu 
nication 1989). 1 Also: Jane E. Doe (report in the files of... 1989) 1 , or Jane E. Dot 



manuscript in the files of. . .1989) 1 , or John E. Doe (data on specimen 



l 



Summer 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



127 



Notes. — Footnotes are not permitted at the bottom of pages. Notes, if any, 
appear at the end of the manuscript, immediately before the Literature Cited sec- 
tion. Consult recent volumes for examples. 



Acknowledgements. — Although acknowledgements are commonly given, 
they are optional. If you have such a section, place it at the end of the text of the 
manuscript, i.e., after "Notes" (if any) and before "Literature Cited." See examples 
in recent volumes. 



LITERATURE CITED 



Note in the exam 



manuscript 



names, with first names and an initial, or with ini 



manuscn 



names 



exam 



nouns, place names, and 



indi 



Write out the names of book and journal titles com 



information 



manus 



examples in recent volumes of the Journal 



ADAMS, KAREN R. 1984. Evidence of 
wood-dwelling termites in archaeo- 
logical sites in the southwestern United 
States. Journal of Ethnobiology 4:29-43. 

ADAMS, KAREN ROGERS. 1988. The 
ethnobotany and phenology of plants in 
and adjacent to two riparian habitats in 
southeastern Arizona. Ph.D. dissertation 
(Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), 
University of Arizona, Tucson. 

ANDERSON, EDGAR. 1956. Man as a maker 
of new plants and new plant 
communities. Pp. 763-777 in Man's Role 
in Changing the Face of the Earth, 
William L. Thomas, Jr. (editor). 



University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 

HARLAN, JACK R. and J.M.J. DEWET. 
1965. Some thoughts about weeds. 
Economic Botany 19:16-24. 

HASTORF, CHRISTINE A. and VIRGINIA 
S. POPPER (editors). 1989. Current 
Paleoethnobotany, Analytical Methods 
and Cultural Interpretation of 
Archaeological Remains. University of 
Chicago Press, Chicago. 

SLEDGE, W. ARTHUR and RICHARD 
EVANS SCHULTES. 1988. Richard 
Spruce: A multi-talented botanist. 
Journal of Ethnobiology 8:7-12. 



128 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.l 



BOOK REVIEWS 



Eat Not This Flesh: Food Avoidances from Prehistory to the Present. Frederick J. 
Simoons. (2nd edition, revised and enlarged). Madison, Wisconsin: Univer- 
sity of Wisconsin Press. 1994. Pp. xiv; 550. $22.95. ISBN 0-299-14254-X (paper- 
bound). 



The original edition of this work, published in 1961, became a classic — the 
standard work on flesh food taboos and avoidances in the Old World. Simoons 
provided data on religious and cultural bans against pork, beef, chicken, fish, horse, 
camel, and dog meat. It was praised and it was attacked, but it was not ignored. A 
modest essay of 241 pages, it argued the primacy of cultural and religious factors 
in taboos, in opposition to the view that taboos initially came about for nutri- 
tional, medical or ecological reasons. 

More than 30 years have passed, and the book has more than doubled in size. 
It has become a far more formidable work. The scholarship is better, the argument 
tighter. In the years between editions, we have seen the rise and fall of what 
Marshall Sahlins called ''practical reason"— particularly dogmatic and extreme 
forms of the models that ascribe taboos to narrowly physical causes. Sahlins him- 
self, in Culture and Practical Reason (University of Chicago Press, 1976), sharply 
questioned the "practical reason" view. Now Simoons has not simply questioned 
it; he has destroyed it. 

Simoons brings to bear on the question a lifetime of scholarship. The bibliog- 
raphy of this edition is 80 pages of fine print. History, geography, religious stud- 
ies, anthropology, biology, medical science, and other fields are drawn on for evi- 
dence. From medieval explorers' accounts to modern parasitological literature, all 
bodies of documentation yield up their due. He considers a vast range of possible 
reasons for taboos. For the pig alone, these include explanations based on ecologi- 
cal insuitability, habitat change, political economy, trichinosis transmission, other 



n feeding, anomalous classii 
ethnic identity maintenance 



reading 



medical 



animals, wax and wane with 



and flow of religion. Pigs, said by the ecological determinists to be ill-suited to th< 
Near East, were widely raised there until the area became over-whelmingly Mus 
lim. Similarly, neighboring peoples, in identical environments, have quite differ 



some 



The crazyquilt pattern of chicken 



killing and eating 



cows has spread across India. It has trickled down the social order, from 



mcreasin 



This is not to say that there is no eco-logic to food taboos. The cow is indeed 
useful in India, and certainly some part of the veneration of the cow is due to its 
utility, as the Arab traveler al-Biruni pointed out centuries ago (Simoons, p. 143 
and elsewhere). But the cow did not suddenly become more useful in Southeast 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 129 



M 



and East Asia when Buddhism and Hinduism brought beef avoidance there. The 
avoidance spread quite apart from the utility. 

What, then, explains these taboos? A wide range of factors. Most common is 
avoidance of filthy feeders: pigs, chickens, dogs. Structural concerns are impor- 
tant, as Mary Douglas pointed out; animals that do not fit standard and obvious 
categories are shunned. Humans also love to make animals the symbols of politi- 
cal constructs (including religious and ethnic groups), and then one political group's 
sacred symbol is their enemy's hated foe. Thus, the dog, unclean throughout Is- 
lam, is especially loathed by some Iranian Muslims because dogs are revered by 
the rival Zoroastrians. The Zoroastrians — like Westerners — avoid dogflesh for the 
opposite reason: dogs (and cats, and horses) are shunned as food where they .ire 
most appreciated as companions. Simoons avoids the easy traps of ascribing ta- 
boos to vague and general factors such as "meaning" or "identity. 

Though this book establishes its case, it is not perfect. Its greatest weakness is 
an entailed corollary of its greatest strength, its comprehensive coverage. Today, 
the literature of social science is flooded (almost, indeed, washed away) by spe- 
cialized and detailed interpretation. Eat Not This Flesh is in an older scholarly 
tradition-the tradition of the vast survey, covering a huge amount of ground, but 
not going into depth. Simoons simply cannot go into full detail on the place of 
food taboos in every society; that would require countless volumes. Thus, experts 
in each area will no doubt complain about the neglect of the rich texture of detail- 
the local variations, the historical shifts, the subtle feelings of the participants. 
Very well; let the experts follow Simoons, and elaborate on his points. 

One important source missed by Simoons is Eugene Hunn's definitive artcle 
("The Abominations of Leviticus Revisited," 1979) on the taboos in Leviticus and 
Deuteronomy. Hunn showed that the tabooed birds (and most other tabooed crea- 
tures) are those that are predatory or carrion-feeding, and thus become contami- 
nated by blood. This is, of course, consistent with the veneration of blood and the 
absolute Biblical rule against contact with blood not ritually shed. Pigs, of course, 
are notoriously omnivorous — eating live or dead animals when they can get them. 
The Biblical taboos also cover some vegetarian animals, notably herbivores that 
divideth not the hoof" such as donkeys, but the vast majority of taboos follow 
simply from the blood-contamination rule. Hunn's article— unfortunately pub- 
lished in an obscure collection — strengthens Simoons' case. 

Ethnobiologists should read this book, and keep it at their fingertips for refer- 
ence. It is a corrective for the idea (perhaps more often felt, at gut level, than stated) 
that people use plants and animals solely according to "practical reason." People 
are creatures of practical reason, to be sure, but they are also creatures of emotion, 
and of symbolic communication. 



// 



130 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.l 



LITERATURE CITED 

DOUGLAS, MARY. 1966. Purity and D. Pearson. Academic Press, New York. 

Danger. Praeger, London. 

SAHLINS, MARSHALL. 1976. Culture and 
HUNN, EUGENE. 1979. "The abominations Practical Reason. University of Chicago 

of Leviticus Revisited. Unpaginated Press, Chicago, 

separate from: Classification in the 



Social Context, edited by Roy Ellen and 



E. N. Anderson 

Department of Anthropology 

University of California, Riverside 



th's Insights: A Multicultural Survey of Ecological Ethics from the Mediter- 
ranean Basin to the Australian Outback. J. Baird Callicott. Foreword by Tom 
Hayden. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. Pp. xxiv, 285. $35.00. 
ISBN 0-520-08559-0 (hardcover). 



re is currently an active controversy in environmentalist circles over the 
:o which traditional peoples valued conservation and environmental pro- 
A wide spectrum of views exists, ranging from one extreme (the Noble 
in harmony with nature) to the other (the impulsive savage destroying 



wantonlv). To this 



should — but, alas, probably will not — deal a final deathblow to the extreme posi- 
tions, and bring debate back to a sensible middle ground. 

Callicott, who is Professor of Philosophy and Natural Resources at the Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, provides a quick survey of environmental eth- 



He is among 



points of em 



extreme care, and by knowing his ground very well indeed, he avoids much 
shallowness that inevitably creeps into a book that goes round the world 
pages. One wishes, of course, for more detail on everything, and some are 
not well covered due to sheer lack of available material. Africa is one of 
Callicott reports a lack of known environmental ethics; I suspect the ethnogi 
literature, not the Africans, to be the source of this deficiency. 

The book covers philosophy, not practice. Some of the areas in question (( 
for instance) have bleak records in their treatment of the environment, vel 



prom 



writings on environmental ethics. Indeed, sometimes the wrea 

often, alas, too late. 



On areas well known to me, Callicott does a good iob. North America 



maintain 



Americans had no conservation ethnic. China (my main research area) is some 
what less well done. Callicott worked with Roger Ames, a leading authority oi 
Chinese philosophy, and thus has the classic book-learning right. The problem i: 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 13 1 



that no one in the world really lives by classics alone. Chinese environmental val- 
ues grow from farmers' and gatherers' daily experiences with the land and water, 
just as ordinary social ethics grow from daily experiences with people. The phi- 
losophers who write the books, in turn, get their environmental ethics from a 
thoughtful consideration of and dialogue with such folk knowledge. One can lit- 
erally see this happening in some of the Han Dynasty texts (apparently unknown 
to Callicott) in which court debates on such matters are recorded. 

One result of focus on books is that Callicott somewhat misunderstands and 
overvalues the role of Taoism. This is important, because he finds Taoism perhaps 
the most environmentalist of all traditional philosophies. He gives its mystical 
and auietistic side an important place. In fact, Taoist practice has been less con- 



mystical withdrawal and nature contemplation 



much 



// 



Chine 



themselves 



owever, we must remember that the religious and phil 
important. They are what we read and what inspires i 



in develooine new ethics. Recoenizin 



lems 



harmonious 



learning all we can from everyone, and creating new and more profound environ- 
mental ethics on the basis of our reasoned reflection on others' experiences. Sym- 
pathetic with Deep Ecology and other radical new trends, he wishes to inform 
them through study of all that the human species has learned, and thought, in its 
long and not-too-successful attempt to deal with Planet Earth. 

I fear that, as I wax old and cynical, I am far less sanguine than Callicott about 
the prospects of his agenda. Not only are most humans still all too prone to view 



environment as nothin 



matic and hidebound to open their minds 



modern 



mentalists seems 



thnobiologists will find this book most 



"finder" for further reading, and as a general introduction to the philosophical 
aspects of ethnobiology. They will wish to check carefully with the primary sources 
before using this book as an authoritative voice on any particular area 



However, I found Callicott's book inspirin 



environment 



E. N. Anderson 



Department of Anthropology 
University of California, Riverside 



World 



International Work 



van Zeist, Willem, Wasylikowa, Krystyna, and Karl-Ernst Behre 
the assistance of G. Entjes-Nieborg. Rotterdam, Netherlands and 
Vermont: A.A. Balkema, 1991. $60.00 (hardcover). Pp. ix; 350. ISBN ! 



132 BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.l 



The International Work Group for Palaeoethnobotany (IWGP) was founded 
at Kacina Castle, near Prague in October,1968, with the aim of promoting collabo- 
ration between European researchers involved in the study of plant remains from 
archaeological sites. The Group, which has considerably expanded in recent years, 
has organized nine meetings in different East and West European countries result- 
ing in some invaluable collected volumes (e.g. van Zeist and Casparie 1983; Renfrew 
1991). This book celebrates the Group's 20th anniversary and aims to review the 
developments in the field since its foundation. Its geographical scope covers Eu- 
rope and the Middle East (the research area of the Group), and it summarizes 
results based mainly on plant macrofossils other than wood and charcoal. 

The book is divided into two parts. The first part is thematic, covering mostly 
methodological issues, and the second consists of separate regional surveys of 
archaeobotanical research. The thematic part deals with the basic analytical steps 
in archaeobotanical work such as identification (U. Korber-Grohne), sampling (M.K. 
Jones) and numerical analysis (G.E.M. Jones), with the taphonomic factors affect- 



remains (U. Willerdin 



environmental 



Jacomet) and procurement, management and trade and exchange of plant resources 
(W. van Zeist). Regional surveys cover the Middle East (N.F. Miller), Southeas 
Europe (H. Kroll), Central Europe south of the Danube (H. Kuster), Germany nortf 
of the Danube (K-E Knorzer), East-Central Europe (K. Wasylikowa, M. Carciumaru 
E. Hajnalova, B.P. Hartyanyi, G. A. Pashkevich and Z. Y. Yanushevich), South anc 
Southeast Europe (M. Hopf), Western and Continental Europe (C.C. Bakels), the 
British Isles (J.R.A. Greig) and the Nordic countries (H.A. Jensen). Four chapters 



in German (but with long summaries in 



white photographs, and many 



index is a drawback, but. in 



ume was 



The thematic part as a whole provides a very useful collection of papers which 
will be of interest to archaeobotanists irrespective of their geographical specializa- 
tion. As with the rest of the book, the diverse epistemological backgrounds of the 
authors has resulted in an extreme heterogeneity in the approach adopted. In gen- 
eral, methodological aspects (mainly the analytical procedures) received a more 
thorough coverage, whereas discussion on the interpretative models involving 
human relations has been kept to a minimum. The book would have been greatly 
benefited if, for example, preceding the discussion on the field's methodological 
procedures, the preface had been expanded to become a separate chapter dealing 
with the nature of the discipline today (given the recent debates in archaeology) 
and its research agenda. 

The part with the regional surveys provides a summary of a huge quantity of 
material from such a wide geographical area. It is based on an enormous and di- 
verse body of literature written in many languages, many of them inaccessible to 
the majority of western researchers. Some areas received more detailed coverage 
than others as a result of the variable volume of the archaeobotanical work under- 
taken. For example, the chapter dealing with the work on Germany north of Danube 
summarizes over 400 publications from more than 300 countries whereas the chap- 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 133 



ter dealing with the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark) 
present data from 84 sites altogether. Most of the chapters begin with a short his- 
torical overview of the wok undertaken to date. In nearly all of them (with the 
exception of the chapter on the Near East) the data are presented in chronological 
order (employing rather broad divisions) followed by a subdivision into plant 
categories. Material is very conveniently summarized in tables and distribution 
maps. The chapter on the Near East is an exception in explicitly focusing on spe- 
cific archaeological problems, rather than listing finds and discussing some of their 
implications. It devotes most of its part on the origins of agriculture (an issue far 
from being resolved according to Miller) but it also discusses other issues such as 
fuelburning as an agent in the formation of archaeobotanical record, and the as- 
sessment of the human impact on the land. This last attempt to situate 
archaeobotanical finds within a general archaeological context and within a frame- 
work of archaeological research questions is sadly missing from the majority of 

regional contributions. 

In conclusion this book, produced by a group of leading world authorities in 
the field, will be of interest to archaeologists in general and archaeobotanists in 
particular, ethnobotanists, agriculturalists and plant ecologists; it is highly recom- 
mended as it can serve as a very good reference guide, an invaluable source of 
often inaccessible information, for both methodological issues and regional stud- 
ies. Moreover, it can be viewed as a mirror of the state of the discipline today, 
revealing both its advances and its weaknesses: the expansion and intensification 
of the archaeobotanical research both geographically and chronologically and the 
methodological developments especially in recovery, sampling, taphonomy and 
ecological interpretations, and its serious difficulties in fully integrating itself within 
the archaeological framework, in developing theoretically informed models of 
human-plant relationships, and in understanding that "people don't eat species, 
they eat meals" (Sherratt 1991:221). 



LITERATURE 



RENFREW, J 



Queiroga and A. P. Dinis (editors). 



N'KfcVV, j.m. (editor,, m ™" "S™ Centro de Estudos Arqueologicos 

in Early Farming: Recent Developments Fama i ice nces, Vila Nova de Famalicao. 



in Palaeoethnobotany. Edinburgh 
University ~ 



W. AND W. 



SHERRATT, A. 1991. PalaeoetaoboUny: = iSterdam 

from crops to cuisine. Pp. 221-235 in 
Paleoecologia e Arqueologia II. F. 



and Ancient 



Yannis Hamilakis, 



Department of Archaeology and Prehistory 



Univ 



ENGLAND 



134 BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.l 



Systematics. Emerging Issues. George Rapp, Jr. and Susan Mulholland 

New York: Plenum Press (233 Serine St. New York. NY wni3V1Q9? 



$49 



volume is the first in the Advances in Archaeological and Museum 



ence series sponsored by the Society for Archaeological Sciences. The purpose of 
this series, which has been launched as biennial, is to provide summaries of ad- 
vances in closely defined topics in archaeometry, archaeological science, environ- 
mental archaeology, preservation technology and museum conservation. 

Phytoliths are defined as microscopic mineral deposits in plants, that form in 
and between plant cells. The reviewed book adopts the restrictive approach for 
the phytolith concept: Calcium and opal phytoliths from vascular plants are re- 
viewed while cysts from one celled organisms (diatoms, and other algae) are not 
considered. The latter materials seem also pertinent for the archaeological science 
and palaeoenvironmental studies, and, presumably, are worthy of another issue 
in this series. Not only calcium oxalate but also calcium phosphate, calcium car- 
bonate and opaline silica may be deposited in determined parts of the plant. These 
crystalline or amorphous mineral deposits may become botanical microfossils, and 
can provide relevant archaeobotanical and palaeoenvironmental information. 

The contributors are outstanding archaeologists, anthropologists, 
palaeoresearchers and promising students in these fields. The fourteen chapters 
cover a wide range of subjects in the field of phytolith systematics, which vary 
from general systematics, to specialized regional studies or taxonomic monographs. 
The first group of chapters is based on papers presented at The Third Phytolith 
Research Workshop, which was held on January 23-24,1988 in Columbia, Missouri. 
An interesting annotated bibliography of Phytolith Systematics, by S. Mulholland, 
E. Lawlor and I. Rowner. is provided in the last rhanter fnn lll-'M^ (^pnpral and 



Name Indexes (pp. 323-346) are given which made 



micro 



micrographs and line drawings are used for illustrating the phytolith mo 



some of the optical mic 



recogniable. Two introductory chapters (by Mulholland 



throw light upon the lesser known 



phytolith analysis and systematics 



systematics 



Dinan (all phvtoliths) (pp. 37-64); Mulholland 



Smith 



Cummings 



phytoliths) (pp. 175-192); Bozarth (selected dicotyledon phytoliths of the Great 
Plains) (pp. 193-214); and Jones and Bryant (Texas cacti phytoliths) (pp. 215-238). 
Arlene Miller 's chapter on silica skeletons from Near Eastern archaeological sites 
(pp. 129-148) explores a promising field which merits further research. 

Silica deposition in roots and rhizomes is discussed by Sangster and Hodson 
(pp. 239-252) making evident the lack of a thorough systematic survey of this field, 
which is still in its infancy. 

TwisS (PP. 113-128) Presents nhvtolirh ana1vsi<5 a« a nntonfial altcrnafi\^ for 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 1 35 



paleoenvironmental research in conditions where pollen analysis is neither prac- 
ticable nor suitable. Twiss discusses the shapes of individual phytoliths from 
grasses, by underlining their potentialities as indicators of the C3 and G 
photosynthethic pathways. Using ratios of pooid, panicoid and chloridoid 
phytoliths is proposed as a tool to reconstruct the Cenozoic environment of a site 
or region. 



matter 



dch is, according with the title, mainly focused on systematics and based 
sh materials. Archaeological possibilities of phytolith analysis are underlin 
most of the authors, but a few examples are fully developed through the whc 



work. 



•vner and Russ, in their chapter on Darwin and Design in Phytolith System- 
atics (pp. 253-276), propose the use of computer-assisted feature measurements 
and statistical analysis for obtaining the assurance of consistency and replication 
of phytolith analysis. They conclude this is the ideal basis upon which to develop 
effective, consistent and reproducible phytolith classification. Without this assur- 
ance of consistency and replication, results of phytolith analysis will remain sus- 



same 



nological analysis. 



much dispersed information on phytolith system 



The 



ding 



taxonomists 



Rivera-Nunez a 
Departamento 



Facultad de Biologia 
Universidad de Murcia 
30100 Murcia, SPAIN 



Ethnobotany of the California Indians. Volume 1. A Bibliography and Index. 



M. Beck. Volume 



Emily D. Roeder. Champaign, Illinois 



Koeltz Scientific Books USA/Germany, 1994. $80.00 (two volume 
set). Volume 1. Pp. iv; 165. ISBN 1-878762-50-8 (USA), 3-87429-353-X (Uerm 
Volume 2. Pp. ii; 210. ISBN 1-878762-51-6 (USA), 3-87429-354-8 (German 



California has a rich aboriginal past. When the first Europeans arrived in the 
-enth century there were 135 linguistically-distinct groups in an area blessed 
i a diversity of floristic and ecological zones. A compilation from the ethnobo- 

cal literature is certainly welcome. 

Volume 1 is a bibliography of over 2500 journal articles, monographs, disser- 
ms, films videos, audio recordings, catalogues, unpublished reports and ar- 
■s from the popular press. While much of the material is specific to California 
general material is annotated to indicate mentions of Californian plant species 



136 BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.l 



or native groups, or to indicate accounts of aboriginal activities relevant to Cali- 
fornia Indians such as fire-making, basketry, acorn-leaching and stick-throwing (a 
game of strategy). The bibliography is indexed by the key words of both titles and 
annotations. There are, however, annoying errors in the index. A random check 
revealed that Larrea trident ata, the creosote bush, is listed in the index as appearing 
on page 18 but instead appears on page 19. Similarly, Proboscidea, appears on pages 
6 and 22, each being one page past those listed in the index. Systemic errors like 
these erode the reader's confidence and diminish the usefulness of the work. This 
reviewer wonders whether bibliographic works are better (and more economi- 
cally) supplied in digital format on a computer diskette. Using simple search tools 
found in computer word processing programs a digital bibliography would per- 
mit researchers to compile references in different ways; for example, all the cita- 
tions of one author can easily be assembled regardless of the author's rank. 

Volume 2 is a compendium of ethnobotanical notes arranged alphabetically 
by genus on plants indigenous to California. For each plant, notes are categorized 
as 'food/ 'medicine/ 'basketry/ 'dye/ and 'other/ Plant parts used, method of 
preparation, and aboriginal group utilizing each plant, are described. Frequently, 
plants are identified only to the genus level, a minor annoyance. Few aboriginal 
names appear in an otherwise useful index of mostly English and Spanish folk- 
loric names. 

No details are given on how this work was compiled. None of the notes in the 



main 



acknowledges three native informants 



eral workshops given by various specialists but there is no way of determining 
which of the notes are the author's own observations and which are derived from 
the references cited. 

Comparing the two volumes, it appears that the research methods of the two 
authors differed somewhat. Volume 1 lists only five references to Artemisia spp., a 
surprisingly low number given the importance of Artemisia species in American 
Indian medicine. Volume 2, however, gives 141 lines of notes on various Artemisia 
spp. induding sagebrushes, mugwort and wormwood. The two volumes are more 
in agreement on other plants. For example, the creosote bush, Larrea tridentata, has 
18 references in Volume 1 and 38 lines of notes in Volume 2. Similarly, for the 
unicorn plant, Proboscidea spp., there are nine references in Volume 1 and only 
eleven lines of notes in Volume 2. 

Complaints aside, the two volumes of Ethnobotany of the California Indians 
will be useful reference books for specialists interested in native American ethno- 



find much material 



medical anthropologists and ethnopharmac 



Conrad Richter 

Richters Herbs 

Goodwood, Ontario 

LOC 1 AO CANADA 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 137 



Forestry and Food Security. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of 
the United Nations. (FAO Forestry Paper Number 90), 1989.Pp. vii; 130. $12.00 
(paperbound). ISBN 92-5-1028478. 



// 



This publication has been prepared by FAO in view of the widely recognized 
fact that, as the introduction states: "Food security is a fundamental problem fac- 
ing the world today. Despite substantial increases in food production in many 
countries, over 800 million people still suffer from malnutrition. 

This problem is thoroughly analyzed in the 130 pages. Following the Fore- 
word, the contents are arranged in five chapters: I) Overview, with eight sections; 
II) Environmental Links between Forestry and Food Security, with 25 sections; III) 
Forestry and Food Production, with 19 sections; IV) The Socio-economic Aspects 
of Forestry and Food Security, with 22 sections; and V) Opportunities for Action, 
with 16 sections. 

There follow Background Documents presented at the Expert Consultation 
on Forestry and Food Production /Security, Trivandrum and Bangalore, India; and 
the Documents Presented number 19, by 15 experts. The Bibliography is extraor- 
dinarily inclusive with a total of 215 items. 

It seems certain that such a thoroughly complete coverage of the relationship 



This 



make 



unique analysis of the problems considered anc 
knowledge of forestry in many ways to increase 



gnition 



easy solutions. The words introducing the fifth chapter, Opportunities 
"There are no simple prescriptions to follow on how to integrate fo< 
objectives into forestry activities. Experience is still limited and there 
amples of forestry initiatives... designed with food security as a spe< 



many opportunities 



// 



This modest publication should be made easily available to academic, com- 
mercial and governmental agencies of the many individuals who are working ac- 
tively on methods to feed the world's growing population and of individuals who 
are looking for novel approaches to increase food supplies. 

Richard Evans Schultes 
Botanical Museum of Harvard University 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 



Rome 



companies FAO Forestry Paper Number 90), 1989. (No price given). ISBN 
not given. 

This brief paperbacked booklet, written in language for the non-technical au- 
ice that it wants to meet, is a masterpiece in bringing to the general public an 
reciation of the importance of food supplies, possible new food plants in the 



138 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.l 



future, the value of forests and their products and numerous other practical as- 
pects of food and their sources. 

The words of Edouard Saouma, Director-General of the U.S. Food and Agri- 
culture Organzation, in the foreword, resound with encouraging optimism: "The 
ways in which the rural poor in developing countries benefit from forests and 
farm trees have rarely been spelt out in detail. Yet research shows that those with- 
out access to forests and to trees growing on common land. . .1 commend this pub- 
lication for drawing attention to an underdeveloped natural resource which can 
make a bigger contribution to the fight against malnutrition." 

The booklet is divided into four major parts: I. Food and Nutrition — Food from 
the forest, foods from cultivated trees, food for livestodk, nutrition and health. II. 
Income — Income from the forest, Income from tree cultivation. III. Agriculture — 
Soil erosion, Improving soil quality, Improving water supplies, Trees and Climate. 
IV. Strategies for Improvement — Adapting forestry policy and legislation, Adapting 
forestry institutions, Research, Designing projects to meet local needs, Conclu- 
sion. There follows a section of sources with 25 citations. 



recommended 



improve 



ing 



Richard Evans Schultes 
Botanical Museum of Harvard University 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 



Stressed Ecosystems and Sustainable Agriculture. S.M. Virmani, J.C. Katyal, H. 
Eswaran, and LP. Abrol (editors). Lebanon, New Hampshire: Science Publish- 
ers, 1995. Pp. xi; 441. $80.00 (hardcover). ISBN 1886106142. 



One of the most inclusive, comprehensive and practical contributions to envi- 
ronmental conservation and its relation to agriculture has appeared. It has been 
needed for a long time, especially since unfortunately too often even experts in 
environmental conservation fail to realize how much of the world's environment 
is human-created-agricultural environments. 

The foreward has a statement of a rarely recognized aspect of real conserva- 
tion efforts: "...there are many indigenous systems, particularly in India, when 
sustainable agriculture is traditionally and historically practiced. We have much 
to learn from this indigenous knowledge." This theme runs throughout the book. 

The volume is introduced by a 15-page chapter entitled I. Synthesis, introduc- 
ing the readers in brief discussions of the technical chapters that follow. This Syn- 
thesis is followed by six chapters of 34 invited papers: 1) Issues, Challenges and 
Role of Institutions; 2) Sustainability and Resource Utilization; 3) Resource Base 
and Stresses; 4) Resource Management; 5) Technology for Mitigating Stresses; and 
6) Supporting Papers. There is an Appendix comprising a list of 130 contributions 
and participants from five countries with a heavy representation by authors from 
India. The nine-page Subject Index is especially useful in locating unusual minor 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 139 



topics. 



This most valuable volume resulted from a meeting of eminent 



in 



// 



ement 



uses and stabilize dry land production. 



imize 



n 



Richard Evans Schultes 
Botanical Museum of Harvard University 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 



Wild 



$37.50 (clothboun 



In the plethora of books on "eating native," it is heartening to see published 
one that is truly interdisciplinary in scope and scientific in its outlook and organi- 
zation: Eating on the Wild Side. The long subtitle of the book gives the potential 
reader a better idea of the breadth of the contents: "The Pharmacologic, Ecologic 
and Social Implications of Using Non-Cultigens." 

While the list of contributors is made up mainly of outstanding anthropolo- 
gists, it also includes experts in medicine, surgery, gastroenterology, environmen- 
tal conservation and botany; consequently there are many and often varied out- 
looks amongst the contributors. But, since the topic is interdisciplinary, the selec- 
tion of contributors is well chosen. 

There is little that one reviewer can handle in such an interdisciplinary contri- 
bution. Even though it reviews primarily the nutritional aspects of wild foods, the 
book contains much of an insight into the nutrition of aboriginal peoples from the 
point of view of health, and many tangential methods of living and feeding. 

The first chapter defines the expectations of the reader into "The Cull of the 
Wild", divided into several sections: Definition: Are Weeds Politically Incorrect? 
with a well-chosen bibliography of 89 references. The succeeding collections fol- 
low with five sections, each fully provided with a specialized bibliography: Selec- 
tion; Physiologic Implications of Wild Plant Consumption; Wild Plants in Prehis- 
tory; Plants and non-human Primates; Epilogue. 

Any person — especially economicbotany or ethnobotany specialists — will ap- 
preciate the interdisciplinary and geographically widespread aspect of the nu- 
merous contributions to the book. The reader will likewise thank the editor for the 
extensive chapter-by-chapter complete bibliography annotations, the list of the 20 
contributors to the volume with their official university connections and the ex- 
cellent botanical and topic indices. 



Richard Evans Schultes 
Botanical Museum of Harvard University 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 



140 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.l 



Murder, Magic and Medicine. John Mann. Oxford, United Kingdom 
versity Press, 1992. Pp. 232. $14.95 (paperbound), $29.95 (hard 
0198558546 (paperbound), 019855561x (hardcover). 



The literature has been surfeited in the last quarter century with books on 
psychoactive, medicinal or otherwise bioactive books — some excellent, many leav- 
ing much to be desired. John Mann, in this relatively small book, has treated medi- 
cine, the use of hallucinogens and other psychoactive plants in a novel way — a 
breath of new reading in the plethora of material that the past few decades have 
offered the interested audience — some of them outstanding, some mediocre. 

Mann has presented much new material on toxic, narcotic and medicinal plants 
and very frequently in a novel intrepretation. I do not hesitate to recommend his 
book without reserve for good reading, accurately presented technical material 
and, especially, its historical treatment of many of the bioactive plants, particu- 
larly those which, in past times, held great importance especially in magic. The 
reader will enjoy throughout the volume its philosophical tone. 

The book is organized in very logical and usable ways. It has an Introduction; 
followed by three sections: Murder, Magic, Medicine; a Bibliography, an Index of 
Scientific Names and a Subject Index. The Bibliography, one might expect, could 
have been expanded somewhat but the items listed do provide a wide range of 
pertinent topics for those who want to read further. For the non-technical audi- 
ence, there is a useful Index of 71 Scientific Names which will be helpful. 

I am certain that Murder, Magic and Medicine will be widely accepted and ap- 
preciated, and I congratulate John for writing it and Oxford Press for so attrac- 
tively publishing this new contribution. 



Richards Evans Schultes 
il Museum of Harvard University 
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 



$29 



Methods Manual. Gary J. Martin. London: Chapman 



Techniques and Methods of Ethnobotany. David R. Given and Warwick 
London, The Commonwealth Secretariat, 1994. £9.50 (softcover). Pp. 14 
085092 405 7. (Available from Commonwealth Secretariat Public 
Marlborough House, London, SW1Y 5HX, United Kingdom). 

Ethnobotany's profile has risen dramatically as the global community 
knowledged the imperative need for environmental conservation. With t 
ognition comes high expectations and as a discipline ethnobotany has be 



addressing both human needs and conserving 



crucial tasks of simul 



s on ethnobotany have been more concerned with defining 
encompasses rather than refining the methods that it usi 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 14 1 



same time as ethnobotany has struggled 



itimac) 



methods manuals 



timely and welcome 



books verv consciously place ethnob 



within 



from 



ining the books we should be wary that the field not be narrowly defined at the 
exclusion of the breadth that has enriched it as it has developed over the past one 
hundred years. As well the books should be evaluated for the degree to which 
they use the current spotlight on ethnobotany to strengthen the push for more 



rigorous methodologies in ethnobotany. 

These two books differ greatly in the degree to which they are successful in 
accomplishing these two objectives. Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual by Gary J. 
Martin is a landmark book in ethnobiology. It is faithful to the multidiscipliiwy 
nature of ethnobotany and Martin is extraordinarily skillful at integrating both 
the bio- logical and anthropological traditions of the field. As well as having a 
sense of history he is very conversant with activities that are at the forefront of 
ethnobotanical research and in this regard is particularly attentive to including in 
the book examples of innovative methodologies. In addition to being a practical 
introduction to ethnobotany for those seeking to undertake conservation-oriented 
projects, the volume is of a high scholarly standard. It is essential reading for any- 
one embarking on graduate studies in ethnobiology. 

The same cannot be said for Techniques and Methods of Ethnobotany by David R. 
Given and Warwick Harris. While this book contains a good deal of useful infor- 
mation for someone being introduced to ethnobotany, it is difficult to figure who 



glossary 



elementary 



western scientists working in foreign countries 



The book is focused on methods that are exclusively biological in oriei 
Moreover, few methods are described in sufficient detail for an uninitiated 
to carry them out. Symptomatic of the deficiencies of the book is the state] 



techniques that "a number 



with the details of collection techniqu 



ment 



// 



more 



in the text and the section of Bibliography and Further Reading contains 
that obviously encompass collection techniques. Further indication of the 
arlv nature of this book are numerous grammatical and typographical fa 



Without knowing 



makers. The current attention on ethnobotany and much 



of the current funding for research in this area comes from government agenci 
and international bodies whose primary agendas are economic, conservation, s 
cial and/or political, not scientific. These are legitimate organizations to provi 
direction for addressing global environmental problems and they are the instit 
tions which have made the appearance of these two books possible. However, t 
two books illustrate poignantly the importance for policy making and funding 
u^ ~ n ,,*\^A xiriiu t-Ua Kocf r,( cri^nrp and nf aradpmic scholarship, the former 



142 BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.l 



demonstrating what happens when the link is made, and the latter when it is not 

Neither of these books is a definitive statement on ethnobotanical methods 

indeed they are welcome in the first instance for drawine attention to the issue 



maintains 



coming from 



for rising as well as established ethnobotanists to incorporate 
methodologies from all of the sub-disciplines of the field. This 



nized as true pioneers toward this end. 



volumes 



ntre for Nutrition and the Environment 
Macdonald Campus, McGill University 



Timothy Johns 



Quebec 



Anna 



From Prehistory 



$60 



"Amazonia is one of the world's foremost ethnographic laboratories/' so as- 
s Stephen Beckerman, a contributor to this edited volume. Most ethnologists 
ethnobiologists would agree. Pioneering researchers, from Holmberg and Stew- 



in 



have contributed to our knowledge of cultural ecology based on their Amazonian 

studies. Despite its fragility, much remains to be discovered in this living labora- 
tory. 

To many, the Amazon Basin appears as an invariable landscape draped in green, 
yet it is far from homogenous. Montane forests bathed by clouds form its western 
boundary. Open-canopied forests and islands of xerophytic savanna veg- etation 
occur in the East. Fish forage on fruits in the flooded forests of the Amazon and its 
tributaries. The rainy season may be continuous or it may be interrupted by a 



This 



impressive 



Amazonian Indians examines this cultural diversity in 17 chapters by many 
prominent Amazonian anthropologists, including researchers from Venezuela and 
Brazil. In chapter 1, Anna Roosevelt, who also edited the book, areues that Ama- 



more com 



cultures attained a degree of specialization more similar to highland and Meso- 
Amencan cultures than to extant, acephalous horticultural bands. Roosevelt be- 
gins with a description of the Amazonian physical environment and then exam- 
ines pre-historic cultures from early foragers to horticulturalists and finally to the 
chiefdom societies. 

A major thesis of Amazonian Indians is that surviving cultures differ signifi- 
cantly from pre-contact ones. Darrell Posey, in his usual candid and refreshing 
manner, states the theme clearly when he writes, "Modern indigenous scrips 



Summer 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 14 



probably bear little resemblance to their pre-contact antecedents." (p. 271) Examples 
supporting this thesis occur throughout the text. Today, manioc and plantains are 
the dominant starches in the region but Roosevelt claims their importance is a 
post-contact phenomenon. Plantains, introduced from the Old World, replaced 
other staples but even manioc may be more widely cultivated than during the pre- 
contact period. Neil Whitehead develops this idea further in the second chapter, 
noting that the use of seed and tuber crops, other than manioc, was far more com- 
mon than modern ethnographic data suggests. In chapter 8, Beckerman echoes 
the same sentiments, claiming that Amazonians have switched from animal to 
vegetable and back to animals as prime protein sources, during the past 2,000 
years. These arguments refute the purely adaptational view of Amazonian societ- 
ies. As Roosevelt notes, "the present-day Indians' cultural and ecological patterns 
cannot be explained as simply adaptations to the environment. Their changing 
interactions with other societies must also be taken into account." (p. 9) 

Adelia De Oliveira (chapter 5) describes deculturation and destabilization in 
the Brazilian Amazon, noting the following changes for Amazonian peoples: 1) 
loss of territories, 2) destabilization and deculturation, 3) demographic decline, 4) 
substitution of tribal rule by secular rule, and 5) biological maintenance assumed 
by colonists. The latter is particular interest to ethnobiologists. Do colonists recog- 
nize crop genetic diversity developed by indigenous people and are they effective 
at maintaining this biological richness? 

In chapter 6, Warren Hern argues against the universality of one of De Oliveira's 
principles. He writes, "at least some Amazonian populations are experiencing high 
fertility and rapid population growth, whereas others have become extinct or nearly 
so." (p. 131) This is certainly true in Ecuador. Populations of several indigenous 
cultures hover around 1,000 while the Shuar and lowland Quichua speakers have 
a combined population of nearly 100,000 

Darna Dufour (chapter 7) discusses diet and nutrition of several indigenous 
groups and notes that non-domesticated food plants are not well-studied. Her 
observations suggests the need for further collaboration between ethnobiologists 
and medical anthropologists. Native South Americans societies recognize hun- 
dreds of non-domesticated food plants but the caloric and nutritional contribu- 
tion of these wild plants is virtually unknown. 

Just as the flora and fauna varies throughout the Amazon basin, so do the 
cultures. Philippe Descola (chapter 9) and Pita Kelekna (chapter 10) argue that the 
Achuar of Ecuador, in contrast to the floodplain societies, have experienced little 
cultural change in the past 500 years. This contrasts strongly to the closely-related, 
parapatric Shuar. Kelekna asserts that Achuar warfare and dispersed settlement 
are pre-contact in origin. Descola also warns of the disruptiveness of market econo- 
mies which have changed the Shuar and now threaten the Achuar. 

In chapter 12, Posey examines pre- and post-contact Kayapo resource utiliza- 
tion. He notes that following European colonization, the Kayapo depended more 
on semi-domesticates. These species, found in war gardens, forest fields, trail-side 
gardens and apate escaped notice of most investigators, as they represented novel 
forms of resource management. William Balee and Denny Moore (chapter 16), shift 
the focus when they discuss Tupi-Guarani taxonomy. They show that the reten- 



1 44 BOOK REVIEWS Vol . 1 6, No . 1 



tion of a plant name is affected more by the name's type and cultural practices 

associated with the plant than by the plant's cultural importance. All those who 

have read Berlin's (1992) seminal treatise on ethnobiological classification should 

examine this chapter. It is an important contribution to the literature on folk 
taxonomy. 

Amazonian Indians contains some minor errors or misleading statements. The 



Amazon 



// 



from 



volcanic ash" as claimed by Roosevelt (p. 2). Soils are richer than in most 



Ama 



but acidic 



in the west. Figure 1.1, which 



America, is incomplete. The Awa, Choco and Embera from western Colombia are 
not shown nor are the Shuar and Kofan from Amazonian Ecuador. The preferred 
self-designation term is provided for some cultures (e.g., Runa and Waorani) but 
not for others (Cayapa who call themselves Chachi and Colorado who call them- 
selves Tsatchila). Hern states that the Jivaro use sacha mangue as an abortifacient 
but does not cite the source of this data. Sacha mangue is a Quichua name for 
Grias peruviana. The Jivaroan name is apai (Bennett in press). Some information 
is contradictory. Did humans first enter the Amazon 10,000 (p. 124)41,000 (p. 
3)42,000 (p. 1) or 14,000 years ago (p. 97)? Is the current indigenous population of 
Brazil 160,000 (p. 102) or 200,000 (p. 114)? 

Although its title may imply otherwise. Amazonian Indians is not a hand- 
book of Amazonian indigenous people but it is an important treatise that clearly 
shows existing cultures do not necessarily represent their ore-contact oredeces- 



this 



ethnobiologists with interest in the Amazon 



LITERATURE CITED 



BENNETT, B.C. (in press). The Ethnobotany 
of the Shuar of Eastern Ecuador. 
Advances in Economic Botany. 



Department 



Bradley C. Bennett 



International 
Miami. Fk 



NOTICE TO AUTHORS 

The Journal ofEthnobiology's revised ''Guidelines for Authors" appears in this issue on pp. 124. If 
you need a copy of these Guidelines you may request a copy from the Editor. Careful scrutiny of 
recent issues of the Journal should provide appropriate stylistic models for any manuscript you 
may wish to submit. 

Those submitting manuscripts for consideration for publication in the Journal should send two hard 
copies and one copy on a high density 3.5" diskette in IBM-compatible or Apple format with 
original camera-ready figures. Manuscripts submitted in inappropriate style and format will be 
returned. 

Manuscripts in English should be sent to: 

EUGENE S. HUNN, Editor, Journal of Ethnobiology 

Department of Anthropology 

Box 353100, University of Washington 

Seattle, WA 98195-3100 USA (hunn@u.washington.edu) 



Manuscripts in Spanish should be sent to: 

ALEJANDRO de AVILA B., Associate Editor 

Journal of Ethnobiology 

Department of Anthropology 

University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA 

(deavila@qal.berkeley.edu) 



NEWS AND COMMENTS 

Information or commentary intended for the "News and Comments" section of the Journal should 
be sent in the same form as for articles to: 

GARY J. MARTIN, News and Comments Editor 

Journal of Ethnobiology 

94 Blvd. Flandrin, 75116, Paris, FRANCE 

Fax: 33/1/45533001 (100427.1260@compuserve.com) 



BOOK REVIEWS 

We welcome suggestions on books to review or actual reviews from readers of the Journal If you 
submit a book review for consideration please send two hard copies and one on diskette. Send 
suggestions, comments, or reviews to: 

NANCY J. TURNER and SANDRA PEACOCK, Book Reviews Editors 

Journal of Ethnobiology 
Environmental Studies Program, P.O. Box 1700, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2 

CANADA (njturner@sol.uvic.ca) 



SUBSCRIPTIONS 

Subscriptions to the Journal of Ethnobiology should be addressed to Gayle J. Fritz, Department of 
Anthropology, Campus Box 1114, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130-4899 USA. Subscrip 
tion rates are $60 for institutional subscriptions; $25 for students; $35 for regular individual 
subscriptions except for Latin America, for which subscriptions are $25. Joint members (with 
spouse, receiving a single copy of the Journal) pay $35. For postage outside of the USA, Canada, or 
Mexico, add $8. Make checks payable to the Journal of Ethnobiology. Defective or lost copies will be 
replaced if a written request is received within one year of issue. For information on back issues 
contact Cecil Brown, Department of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115 
USA, (815) 753-0246. 



JOURNAL 









ETHNOBIOLOGY 






Depictions of Snare Trapping 
in Mimbres Pottery -Shaffer era/ 



Ethnoichthyology of Gamboa 

Fishermen -Pa* and Begossi 



Jakaltek Maya Gourd Vessels 
and Corn Drinks -Ventura 



Biotic Resource Categories 

in the Peruvian Amazon -Brownrigg 




Mimbres Trapper 



Volume 16. Number 2 Winter 1996 



JOURNAL STAFF 

EDITOR: Eugene S. Hunn, Department of Anthropology, Box 353100, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 



98195-3100 (hunn@u.washington.edu) 
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Jennifer Sepez, Department of Anthropology, Box 353100, University of Washington, 



Seattle, WA 98195-3100 (jsepez@u.washington.edu) 
ASSOCIATE EDITOR (Spanish): Alejandro de Avila B., Department of Anthropology, University of California, 

Berkeley, CA 94720 (deavila@qal.berkeley.edu) 
NEWS & COMMENTS EDITOR: Gary J. Martin, People and Plants Initiative, B.P 262, Marrakesh-Medina, 



MOROCCO (100427.1260@compuserve.com) 
BOOK REVIEW EDITORS: Nancy J. Turner and Sandra Peacock, Environmental Studies Program, P.O. Box 

1700, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2 CANADA (njturner@sol.uvic.ca) 



SOCIETY OFFICERS 

PRESIDENT: Catherine S. Fowler, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 
PRESIDENT-ELECT: Nancy J. Turner, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, CANADA 
SECRETARY/TREASURER: Gayle J. Fritz, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 
CONFERENCE COORDINATOR: Mollie S. Toll, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES 

Karen R. Adams, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez, CO 
Suzanne K. Fish, Arizona State Museum, Tucson, AZ 
Gail Wagner, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 

Ex officio 
Past presidents: Steven A. Weber, Amadeo M. Rea, Elizabeth S. Wing, Paul Minnis, and Cecil Brown. Permanent 



The 



conference coordinator. 



EDITORIAL BOARD 



Karen R. Adams, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez, CO: paleoethnobotany. 
Eugene N. Anderson, University of California, Riverside, CA: ethnobotany , China, Maya. 
Scott Atran, CNRS, Paris, FRANCE: ethnobiological classification, cognition, history of science, Maya. 
Brent Berlin, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; ethnobiological classification, medical ethnobotany, Maya. 
Robert A. Bye, Jr., Jardin Botanico, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, D.F., MEXICO: ethno- 
botany, Mexico. 

H. Sorayya Carr, El Cerrito, California: zooarchaeology. 

Nina Etkin, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI: medical ethnobotany, the Pacific. 

Gayle J. Fritz, Washington University, St. Louis, MO: paleoethnobotany. 

David R. Harris, University College, London, ENGLAND: ethnoecology, subsistence systems, archaeobotany . 

Chris Healey, Northern Territory University, Darwin, AUSTRALIA: ethnozoology , Australia and New Guinea. 

Timothy Johns, Macdonald College of McGill University, Quebec, CANADA; chemical ecology, ethnobotany, East 

a ■* * 



Aft 



)fC 



Brien A. Meilleur, Center for Plant Conservation, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO: ethnoecology, plant 



conservation, ethnobotanical gardens. 



obiology 



Darrell A. Posey, Oxford Centre for the Environment, Ethics, and Society, Oxford University, Oxford, ENGLAND: 

natural resource management, ethnoecology, tropical cultural ecology. 
Amadeo M. Rea, San Diego, CA: cultural ecology, zooarchaeology, ethnotaxonomics. 
Elizabeth J. Reitz, University of Georgia, Athens, GA: zooarchaeology. 



ethnobiology 



The Journal of Ethnobiology 



// 



News and 



Comments" and book review sections should be sent to the appropriate editors as listed on the inside back cover of 

. 1 * * 



this issue. 



© Society of Ethnobiology 

ISSN 0278-0771 

FRONT COVER The new Journal of Ethnobiology cover will feature a figure or photograph from one of the articles in that issue. The 
former cover piece will remain as the Journal's logo. It represents a split-twig figurine, made of squawbush (Rhus trilobata) or willow 
(Salix). Split-twig figurines appeared as a cultural trait in the American Southwest about 2000 B.C. among Archaic hunting and gathering 
populations in the Grand Canyon area of Arizona. They have also been found in Utah, Nevada, and California, and are thought to have 
had some magical/religious significance concerning hunting practices. For more information on these figurines see an American 
Antiquity article by Alan R. Schroedl (1977, Vol. 42(2): 254-265). COVER ILLUSTRATION: Eleventh century Mimbres pottery motif 
depicting a man trapping birds, redrawn by Shaffer et al. from Fewkes (1989) and Brody 1977. 



Journal of 
Ethnobiology 



VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2 



WINTER 1996 



Advertising Information 



Journal of Ethnobiology 



published by the Society of Ethnobiology 



Mailing Instructions: All initial advertising contracts and correspondence should be sent to 



Secretary /Treasurer 
Society of Ethnobiology 

Gayle J. Fritz 
Department of Anthropology 

Campus Box 1114 

Washington University 

St. Louis, MO 63130-4899 

Phone: (314) 935-8588 

Fax: (314) 935-8535 

E-mail: gfritz@artsci.wustl.edu 



and 



Editor, Journal of Ethnobiology 

Eugene S. Hunn 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Washington 

Box 353100 

Seattle, WA 98195-3100 

Phone: (206) 543-6825 

Fax: (206) 543-3285 

E-mail: hunn@u.washington.edu 



MISSOURI BOTANICAL 



CONTENTS 



MAY 6 1997 



GARDEN LIBRARY 



ETHNOBIOTICA 



v 



AUTHOR PROFILES vii 



PREHISTORIC SMALL GAME SNARE TRAP TECHNOLOGY, 
DEPLOYMENT STRATEGY, AND TRAPPER GENDER DEPICTED IN 

MIMBRES POTTERY 

Brian S. Shaffer, Karen M. Gardner, and Barry W. Baker 145 



ETHNOICHTHYOLOGY OF GAMBOA FISHERMEN OF SEPETIBA BAY, 
BRAZIL 

Vilma A. Paz and Alpina Begossi 



157 



THE SYMBOLISM OF JAKALTEK MAYA TREE GOURD VESSELS AND 
CORN DRINKS IN GUATEMALA 

Carol Ventura 169 



CATEGORIES OF FAUNAL AND FLORAL ECONOMIC RESOURCES OF 
THE NATIVE COMMUNITIES OF THE PERUVIAN AMAZON IN 1993 

Leslie A. Brownrigg 



185 



INDEX TO KEY WORDS: VOLUME 6, NUMBER 1 THROUGH VOLUME 

15, NUMBER 2 

Jennifer Sepez . 



212 



SHORT COMMUNICATION 

Trevor N. Howard 



224 



ABSTRACTS OF PRESENTATIONS 234 

NEWS AND COMMENTS 257 



BOOK REVIEWS 

Environmental Values in American Culture, by Willett Kempton, 

James S. Boster and Jennifer A. Hartley 

Linda C. Garro 

Economic Botany Data Collection Standard, by Frances E.M. Cook. 
Joseph E. Laferriere 

Chilies to Chocolate, Food the Americas Gave the World, edited by 

Nelson Foster and Linda S. Cordell 

Michael K. Steinberg 



155 



184 



262 



Agricultural Origins and Development in the Midcontinent, edited by 
W. Green 

Russell Boulding 263 

Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Concepts and Cases, edited by 

Julian T. Inglis 

Judith D.Mitchell 265 



ETHNOBIOTICA 



This issue is later than I would have wished due to the added complexities of 
putting it together at a distance, as I'm in Oaxaca, Mexico, in the midst of field 
work while my office is in Seattle, Washington. Special thanks are due my edito- 
rial assistant Jennifer Sepez for keeping things more or less on track during my 
sabbatical. She is also responsible for the ten-year index that appears in this issue. 
Thanks also to Tom Murphy and Brian Van Hoy who helped Jennifer with this is- 
sue. Brian will be taking over much of the work of coordinating my office as Jenni- 
fer dedicates herself to her dissertation research on Native American whaling, 
funded by a generous award from the E.P.A. 

I'm six months into my two-year Zapotec ethnobiology project in San Juan and 
San Pedro Mixtepec, Oaxaca. I'm struggling to get the hang of a new language, 
Mixtepec Zapotec, which distinguishes more than 100 vowel phonemes, if one 
counts all the permutations of six vowel positions, four tones, simple and globalized 
variants, and glides. My entry point into the language has been the local environ- 
mental vocabulary. To date I have recorded over 600 distinctly named plant cat- 
egories and some 300 for animals, and there's surely more to come. The challenge 
is to position myself between Western biologists who "know" a particular species 
and local Zapotec biologists who know the same species, juxtaposing their per- 
spectives, their particular ways of knowing that species. Of course, neither West- 
ern nor local biologists agree entirely among themselves, so one must carefully sort 



nomenclatural preferences in 



in both cultures 



the course of this project, using living organisms in situ, prepared voucher 
mens, photos, video clips, and verbal descriptions in Zapotec, Spanish, an 
glish. I'm putting together a multidimensional jigsaw puzzle, and it has the 



very 



my 



What has most impressed me so far in this work is the extraordinary persis- 
tence of this local Zapotec environmental knowledge passed down through nearly 
five centuries of Spanish and Mexican colonial and national experience. For ex- 
ample, in the Cruz Hernandez family of San Juan Mixtepec, the mother, grand- 
mother, five daughters (ages 10-27), and two granddaughters (ages four and five) 
live and work together tending their milpa and their domestic animals, while the 
father is frequently away on trading trips to the coast. All speak fluent Zapotec 
and all but the mother and grandmother are also fluent in Spanish. The four young- 
est attend school but help out afternoons and weekends. Justina, the 15-year-old 
daughter, collects plants for my project. I am constantly amazed as they review 
their most recent collections with me: 10-year-old Mari Elena is likely the first to 
name the plant and eagerly demonstrates how to apply a particular leaf to remedy 
some particular ailment. Five-year-old Lilia knows many of the names as well. 
Occasionally, Justina will send her niece to the kitchen to seek confirmation of a 
particular name or use from her mother. They all show the same alert fascination 
for the insect specimens we bring by for naming. 



am grateful for these opportunities to share my own fas 

ty of nature with that of the Cruz Hernandez family. Nurturing the human 



what the Society of Ethnobiology is all about: E. O. Wilson 



family, is ultimately 



Yours, 






From A. Miller, The Wall Paintings ofTeotihuacdn (1973) 
Drawing by Felipe Davalos G. 



AUTHORS IN THIS ISSUE 




LESLIE A. BROWNRIGG 

Leslie A. Brownrigg is a Social Science Analyst with the 
Department of Commerce. A Columbia University Ph.D. 
Anthropologist, Dr. Brownrigg applies ethnographic meth- 
ods to censuses for the Statistical Research Division and the 
International Programs Center. Through long term field 
work and designing rural development projects, Dr. 
Brownrigg has researched and advocated the knowledge 
and management of living resources held traditional among 
native Andean and tropical forest cultural communities in 
Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, and Belize. 




VILMA ANALIA PAZ and ALPINA BEGOSSI 

Vilma Analia Paz (not pictured) is currently working at the 



Museo 



// 



Prof. An- 



tonio Serrano," Santa Fe, Argentina. She took her under- 
graduate studies at the Universidade Federal do Rio de 
Janeiro, working in ethnobiology in a 1989-90 project sup- 
ported by CNPq and FAPERJ, and coordinated by A. 
Begossi. Alpina Begossi is currently a researcher at the 
Nucleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais and lecturer of 
Human Ecology at the Graduate in Ecology, Universidade 
Estadual de Campinas. She has done research among 
artisanal fishers, using ecological concepts and models, and 
has about 40 published articles. 




W 



GARDNER 



Zooarchaeology 



Institute 



sity of North Texas. He is pursuing his Ph.D. in anthropol- 
ogy through Texas A&M University. Barry W. Baker is a 
Ph.D. Student in the Department of Anthropology, Texas 
A&M University. His research interests include 
zooarchaeology, hunter-gatherer studies, Quaternary ver- 
tebrate paleontology, and human osteology. Karen M. 
Gardner is Vice President and Laboratory Director for 
Prewitt and Associates, Inc., a consulting archaeological 
firm based in Austin, Texas. Her research interests include 
conservation and collection management, Mimbres ceram- 
ics, and the study of various invertebrate species. 




CAROL VENTURA 



Jacalte 



1976-80 



doctoral research. Carol earned a Ph.D. in Art at the Uni- 
versity of Georgia in 1989. Her dissertation was recently 
published under the title Mayan Hair sashes Backs trap Woven 



Jacaltenango 



Jacaltec May 



woven hair sashes, their theory and symbolism. Carol cur- 



Tennes 



Technolo 



Journal of Ethnobiology 16(2):145-155 



Winter 1996 



PREHISTORIC SMALL GAME SNARE TRAP 

TECHNOLOGY, DEPLOYMENT STRATEGY, 

AND TRAPPER GENDER DEPICTED IN MIMBRES POTTERY 



BRIAN S. SHAFFER 

Zooarchaeology Laboratory, Institute of Applied Sciences 

University of North Texas, P.O. Box 13078, 

Denton, Texas 76203-6078 



KAREN M. GARDNER 
Prewitt and Associates, Inc. 
7701 North Lamar, Suite 104 

Austin, Texas 78752-1012 



BARRY W. BAKER 

Department of Anthropology 

Texas A&M University 
College Station, Texas 77843 

ABSTRACT.— Small game traps have been recovered from throughout much of 
the American Southwest and Great Basin, primarily from cave contexts where 
they were stored. Since these traps have not been recovered in situ from locations 
of use, no direct archaeological information has been obtained on prehistoric de- 
ployment strategies. Archaeologists have drawn from historic and ethnographic 
analogy to explain small trap use in prehistoric times. Prehistoric pictorial evi- 
dence of trapping technology and strategy, however, was documented in pottery 
motifs by the American Southwest's Mimbres culture in the eleventh century. These 
motifs portray the deployment of multiple snare traps to procure multiple game 
by male trappers. Additionally, trapping activities were probably conducted in 
conjunction with other hunting activities. 

RESUMEN.— Se han encontrado trampas para caza menor en buena parte de 
Suroeste y la Gran Cuenca de los Estados Unidos de Norteamerica, principalmente 
en cuevas donde fueron almacenadas. Puesto que estas trampas no han sido 
halladas in situ en localidades donde estaban siendo usadas, no se ha obtenido 
information arqueologica directa sobre las estrategias prehistoricas de colocacion 
de las mismas. Por ello, los arqueologos se han basado en analogias histoncas y 
ethnograficas para explicar el uso de trampas pequenas en tiempos prehistoncos. 
Sin embargo, los disenos en ceramica de la cultura Mimbres de Suroeste de los 
Estados Unidos en el siglo onceavo documentan evidencia pictonca de la 
tecnologia y la estrategia de la caza con trampas. Estos disenos muestran la 
colocacion de multiples trampas con senuelo por parte de hombres tramperos 
para cazar presas multiples. Ademas, las actividades de los tramperos 
orobablemente tomaban luear en conjuncion con otras actividades de caza. 



146 



SHAFFER ET AL. Vol. 16, No.2 



RESUME. — L'exploration d'une grande partie du Sud-Ouest et du Grand Bassin 
americain a permis la mise a jour de pieges a petit gibier provenant principalement 
de cavernes ou ils etaient remises. Ces pieges n'ont pas ete retires in situ de leurs 
lieux d'usage et, par consequent, nous n'avons aucune information archeologique 
directe sur les strategies prehistoriques d'utilisation. Ainsi, les archeologues ont 
du travailler a partir d'analogies historiques et ethnographiques pour expliquer 

l'usage des petits pieges durant la prehistoire. Toutefois des temoignages picturaux 
sur la technologie et les strategies de piegeage nous sont parvenus sous la forme 
de motifs de poterie. La poterie du lie siecle provient de la culture mimbres du 
Sud-Ouest americain. Les motifs montrent des trappeurs males deployant de 
nombreux pieges a lacets dans le but de prendre plusieurs sortes de gibiers. II 
semble egalement que les activites de piegeage aient ete menees conjointement 
avec d'autres activites de chasse. 



INTRODUCTION 



Trap use has been documented historically and ethnographically as an effec- 
tive technique for procuring animals of varying sizes (Anell 1960, 1969; Coon 1971; 
Hudson 1991; Oswalt 1976). This was especially true in the American Southwest 
and Great Basin, where much of the human-exploited animal biomass consisted 
of small game. For small game, traps often provided a more effective means of 
procurement than other hunting methods, such as the use of bows and arrows. 

While small game trap use was documented in historic times in western North 
America (e.g., Beaglehole 1936; Beals 1933, 1943; Bennett and Zingg 1935; Cushing 
1920; Kelly 1932; Loeb 1932, 1933; Pennington 1963; Radin 1923; Reagan 1919-1921; 
Spier 1955; Stephen 1936; Steward 1933), prehistoric use of traps for small game is 
not as well documented. Most prehistoric Native American traps, such as snares, 
were made out of perishable materials (hair, plant fibers, or wood) and are rarely 
preserved intact, unless recovered from dry cave contexts (e.g., Aikens 1993; 
Cosgrove 1947; Echlin et al. 1981; Elston 1986; Fowler 1963; Guernsey and Kidder 
1921; Gunnerson 1959; Janetski 1979, 1980; Kidder and Guernsey 1919; Lambert 
and Ambler 1961; Loud and Harrington 1929; Morris 1980; Schellbach 1927). Stud- 
ies such as these provide a range of data about traps, including the types of traps, 
their antiquity, materials, methods of construction, methods of repair, and storage 
or caching in caves. When recovered archaeologically, these traps closely resemble 
those described ethnographically for the procurement of smaller game such as 
birds, rodents, rabbits, and small carnivores (Beals 1933:349, 1943:16; Bennett and 
Zingg 1935:117; Fowler 1986:82; Gilmore 1953:153; McKennan 1935:64; Pennington 
1963:91-92). Unfortunately, because the traps were recovered from places of stor- 
age, little direct contextual information has been ascertained about prehistoric trap 
use or deployment. 

Two studies discussing prehistoric trapping from the West and Southwest in- 
ferred that prehistoric trappers probably did not just set individual traps, but also 
set series of traps in "trap lines" (Echlin et al 1981:65; Janetski 1979:312). This trap- 
ping strategy was inferred on the basis of the recovery of numerous bundles of 
multiple snares from caches in dry caves. The numbers of snares was analogous 
to ethnographic sources that described using multiple snares in trap lines. New 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



147 



insight into prehistoric trapping comes from southwestern New Mexico 
form of pictorial evidence painted on the interior of Classic Mimbres bowls 
motifs match ethnographic data for trap line use and positively identify t 
of trap lines in prehistory. 



Research Area 




Pacific Ocean . ! 




FIGURE 1.— Map of Mimbres region 



MIMBRES OVERVIEW 

The Mimbres (A.D. 200 - 1150) were a regional group of the Mogoll 
most of their sites concentrated in the Mimbres River Valley of southwest 
Mexico (Figure 1). During the Classic Period (A.D. 1000-1150), the Mimbre 
lived in above-ground pueblo structures and produced much of the po 
which thev are known. Bv A.D. 1150 the core area of the Mimbres was ab; 



was no longer produced (Any on et al. 1981; Anyo 



Gilman 



and 



The Mimbres people are known for their elaborate pottery that was paintec 
and decorated with geometric and naturalistic motifs on the inside of ceramic bowls 
The naturalistic motifs are often quite explicit, detailed, and provide useful infor 
mation about prehistoric lifeways by portraying specific tools, activities 
ceremonies, and often the sex of the persons portrayed. Many of the motifs com 



148 



SHAFFER ETAL. 



Vol. 16, No.2 



with ethnoeraphicallv documented daily, seasonal, and ceremonial 



Native American 



Fewkes 



Moulard 



link between the motifs 



ethnographic record is important since many of the motifs portray intan 
nology, behavior, and artif actual technologies that either cannot, or did ri 
otherwise in an empirically recognizable manner in the Mimbres arch 
record (Shaffer and Gardner 1995a, 1995b; Shaffer et al. 1995). 



DESCRIPTION OF MIMBRES SNARE TRAP MOTIFS 

No Mimbres artifacts have been identified and reported as traps, although 
most Mimbres sites abound with remains of smaller animals that zooarchaeologists 
assumed were procured, in part, by trapping (Olsen and Olsen 1996; Powell 1977; 
Shaffer 1991). Two Classic Mimbres bowls and one sherd (Figures 2-4) depict the 
use of traps (snares) for the procurement of small game. While Figures 2 and 3 
have been previously identified as trapping scenes (Brody 1977, Figure 167; 1983, 
Figure 98; Crimmins 1930, Plate 22; Fewkes 1989b [1923:7-8], Figure 1), none of 
the motifs have been synthesized in relation to ethnographic data. Furthermore, 
not only is information provided about Mimbres snaring technology, these motifs 
provide insight as to the strategy of deployment, sex of the trappers, and related 
activities combined with trapping. 




FIGURE 2. — Trappers setting snares (redrawn from Brody 1983, Figure 98). 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



14" 




FIGURE 3.— Male 



Figu 



Images of traps and trap technology are rare on Mimbres pottery. Figures 2-4 
represent the only reported examples from published Mimbres literature or 
documented among the 5288 Mimbres vessel record cards curated in the Mimbres 
Archives in the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New 
Mexico. While an uncommon motif, the drawing of all three snare motifs is uni- 
form. For example, all unsprung snares are drawn as a loop on a straight line. All 



in 



// 



lines 



senting grass or other wild plants, crops, or fences. The fact that each design motif 
was drawn similarly in each figure indicates that a common practice and technol- 
ogy are portrayed. 



two 



sitting or kneeling and bent over while setting the snares. In 



motif 



in 



// 



V"-shaped gap in the vertical lines) and 



three unset snares. The vertical lines into 



may 



animals to the snares (e.g., Crimmins 



Oswalt 1976:135; Spier 1955:4). 

The person setting the snare at the bottom of Figure 2 appears to be a ma 
This assessment is made based on the presence of an apparent phallus, and t 
presence of a hair knot or bun on the back of his head, frequently portrayed 
anatomically explicit males in Mimbres pottery. The sex of the person at the top 
Figure 2 is not recognizable from the image depicted. By contrast to the male 
the bottom of the figure (shown with anatomically and culturally male traits), t 



150 



SHAFFER ET AL. Vol. 16, No.2 



person at the top is not shown with such sex or gender traits and therefore could 
be a female, adolescent, or another male depicted without detail. For example, 
females in Mimbres pottery motifs are usually depicted with anatomical traits such 
as breasts or being pregnant, and cultural traits such as string apron sashes (LeBlanc 

1983a), baskets, or hair whorls. 

Additional implements are present on the right side of Figure 2. At the top 
right are a bow, two arrows, and an unidentified bilobate object. The bilobate 
object may be representative of bundled snares which have been recovered through- 
out the West and Southwest (Echlin et a\. 1981; Janetski 1979, 1980), or could be a 
bilobed gourd with a carrying strap. At the bottom right are two more objects, one 
of which is a sword or staff motif, while the other is an unknown object. The trian- 
gular shape in the middle of the bowl in the top row of vertical lines is part of a 
"kill" hole in the center of the bowl. "Kill" holes may indicate that the bowl was 
ritually punctured before interment with a human burial (Brody 1977:51-52; LeBlanc 
1983a:64; Snodgrass 1973:10). Most of the broken pottery from the "kill" hole was 
recovered and reconstructed except for the missing triangle. 

The result of successful trapping is presented in Figure 3. Brody (1977:203- 
204) described Figure 3 as a man trapping birds in a garden, although Brody felt 
the motif may also depict a mythical story Crimmins (1930:74) identified this motif 
as a trapper with snares set in the openings along a constructed wattle fence. At 
the top of Figure 3, a male trapper holds an unidentified object, possibly a feather, 
in one hand and three snares in the other. At the bottom of the bowl's design are 
four traps that have been set in the gaps of vertical lines. Three traps are sprung 
and contain captured birds. A fourth trap remains unsprung. The "X" marks 
under the snared birds possibly indicate the footprints of the birds. 

The group of objects at the top left of Figure 3 includes several items. The two 
birds depicted may be escaping the snares or may represent dead birds harvested 
from the snares. The footprints under these two birds appear to belong to the trap- 
per and not the birds. Near these two birds are three additional vertical lines and 
a bilobate object that was similar to the object described in Figure 2. The circular 
shape below the trapper is a "kill" hole. 




FIGURE 4. — A set snare motif painted on a ceramic sherd recovered from Swarts 
Ruin (redrawn from Cosgrove and Cosgrove 1932, Plate 232g). 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 1 5 1 



Figure 4 consists of a sherd recovered from Swarts Ruin (Cosgrove and 
Cosgrove 1932, Plate 232 g). Similar to Figures 2 and 3, Figure 4 shows the vertical 
lines with a "V"-shaped gap, and a snare placed in the gap. Also shown at the 
bottom left are two shapes with jagged edges. These may represent human feet 
and toes, although they could also represent bird tail feathers. 



DISCUSSION 



In western North America, trapping was documented as a male dominated 
activity, where multiple traps were set to increase the chances of success (Beaglehole 
1936:17, 1937:18; Beals 1933:349; Du Bois 1935:13; Kelly 1932:88; Spier 1928:113; 
Underhill 1991:63-64; White 1962:301-302), as seen in both Figures 2 and 3. In Fig- 
ure 2 one male is setting multiple traps with another person (sex and gender 
undetermined), and in Figure 3 a man is depicted hole 



Mimbres 



Echlin 



m 



Deployment of trap lines represents a form of sequential multiple predc 
eele and Baker 1993), where the trappers attempt to increase their success 
maximize their bounty by using multiple traps during a single trapping 



individually 



hunting strategy 



in terms 



would indicate 



ing was probably combined with other animal procurement 
selective or opportunistic hunting. Thus, Figure 2 depict 
procurement strategy of both snaring and hunting, as has 



Wheat 



m 



Mimbres 



game al 
animals 



More information can be ascertained regarding trap use and imp] 
teaies for snarine of animals by the Mimbres from these motifs 



themselves were recovered. This is becaui 
xt of use bv humans. While large numbers 



from 



from a context of use. As such, the Mimbres motifs 



ementation 



There is no way to know if Figures 2-4 are representative of actual events or 
mythical stories, are sympathetic magic, or have symbolic meanings beyond the 
empirical imagery. Whichever may be correct, the Mimbres artisan(s) conveyed their 
message using images of trapping technology. As such, these images allow archae- 
ologists to identify behaviors and technologies of past lifeways that may not have 
been preserved otherwise. Even so, the symbolism beyond the empirical aspects 
that was intended by the painters may never be known (Brody 1977:200-210). 



152 



SHAFFER ETAL. 



Vol. 16, No.2 



SUMMARY 



The technology and use of traps to capture small game is well documented 
historically in North America. Numerous prehistoric examples of traps have been 
recovered from cave or rockshelter contexts. Little direct information, however, 
regarding trap deployment strategies has been ascertained from these finds. Three 
Classic Mimbres painted bowl motifs provide prehistoric confirmation of these 
trapping strategies and, in one case, additional subsistence information. 

Mimbres snare trap motifs depict the simultaneous use of several traps to cap- 
ture multiple game. This trapping strategy has been described ethnographically 
and is supported indirectly in prehistory through the archaeological recovery of 
stored snare bundles suggestive of trap lines. In addition, two of the depicted 
trappers are identifiable as male. This matches ethnographic accounts and pro- 
vides the prehistoric documentation of the trappers' gender that has not been 
substantiated through other archaeological work. 

The motifs described here also provide insight into trapping technology, se- 
lective and nonselective hunting, and illustrate a method of animal procurement 
used by the Mimbres. Using archaeological evidence, it would have been difficult 
to positively identify trap line deployment strategy, the gender of the trappers, or 
other archaeologically obscure facets of trapping had it not been for the graphic 
depiction of the events by the Mimbres pottery painters. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



Johnny W. Byers, Suzanne K. Fish, Bryan Scott Hockett, Joel C. Janetski, Paul 
E. Minnis, Elizabeth J. Reitz, and Laurel and Paul Thornburg provided comments 
and suggestions on an earlier draft. The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the 
University of New Mexico graciously provided repeated access to the Mimbres 
pottery photo archives housed at that facility. 



LITERATURE CITED 



AIKENS, C. MELVIN. 1993. Archaeology of 
Oregon. U.S. Department of the Interior, 
Bureau of Land Management, Portland, 
Oregon. 

ANELL, BENGT. 1960. Hunting and 
Trapping Methods in Australia and 
Oceania. Studia Ethnographica 
Upsaliensia 18. 

1969. Running Down and 

Driving of Game in North America. 
Studia Ethnographica Upsaliensia 30. 

ANYON, ROGER, PATRICIA A. GILMAN, 



Revolution of Mogollon-Mimbres 
Communal Structures. The Kiva 
45(4):253-277. 

BEAGLEHOLE, EARNEST. 1936. Hopi 
Hunting and Hunting Ritual. Pp. 3-26 
in Yale University Publications in 
Anthropology, No. 4. Yale University 
Press, New Haven. 

1937. Notes on Hopi Economic 



Life. Pp. 5-88 in Yale University 
Publications in Anthropology 15. New 
Haven, Connecticut. 



STEVEN A. LEBLANC. 1981. A BEALS, RALPH L. 1933. Ethnology of the 



Reevaluation of the Mogollon-Mimbres 
Archaeological Sequence. The Kiva 

46(3):209-225. 
ANYON, ROGER and STEVEN A. 
LEBLANC. 1980. The Architectural 



Nisenan. University of California 
Publications in American Archaeology 
and Ethnography 31:335-414. 

. 1943. The Aboriginal Culture of 



the Cahita Indians. University of 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



153 



California Press, Berkeley. 
BENNETT, W I NDELL C, and ROBERT M. 

ZINGG. 1935. The Tarahumara: An 

Indian Tribe of Northern Mexico. 

University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 
BRODY, j. J. 1977, Mimbres Painted Pottery. 



University 
Albuquerque. 



of 



New 



Mexico, 



1983. Mimbres painting. Pp. 69- 

125 in Mimbres Pottery: Ancient Art ol 
the American Southwest, j. J. Brody, 

Catherine J. Scott, and Steven A. LeBlanc 

(editors). Hudson Mill Press, New York. 

CARR, PAT. 1979. Mimbres Mythology. 

Southwestern Studies Monograph No. 

56, University of Texas, El Paso. 
COON, CARLTON S. 1971. The Hunting 

Peoples. Nick Lyons Books, New York. 
COSGROVE,C.B. 1947. Caves of the Upper FOWLI K, CAIHER1NE S. 19? ,. 



Smithsonian Mis* ellaneous < »li turn; 
Vol. S3, No. 10. P ' reprint \\an\u 
Publishing, Albuquerque Mev Mexico. 

- . 1989b 1 1923| Designs on 

Prehistoric Potten from the Mimbres 

Vallev. New Mexico. Smithsonian 

Miscellaneous Collections, \oI. 74, No, 
6. r>S9 reprint, A\.invu Publishing 

Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

1989c [1924]. Additional I >esigns 

on Prehistoric Mimbn •> Pottery. 

Smithsonian Miscellaneous C ollei lions, 

Vol 76, No 8. 19h reprint, A\ anyu 
Publishing, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

FOWLER, DON D. 1963 1961 Excavation* 

1 l.irri^ Wash, I ih. Glen C nyon Srries 
19, University of Utah Anthropologic .»l 

Pacers. Vol. 64. salt l^ke c itv, Utah. 



64 



Basin 



VV 



Smithsonian Institution, Wa 
DC. 



tectu 



Gila and Hueco Areas in New Mexico 
and Texas. Papers of the Peabody 
Museum of American Archaeology and 
Ethnology, Vol. 24. Harvard University, 
Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
COSGROVE, H. S. and C. B. COSGROVE. 
1932. The Svvarts Ruin: A Typical 

Mimbres Site in Southwestern New 
Mexico. Papers of the Peabody Museum 
of American Archaeology and 
Ethnology, Vol. 15. Cambridge, 

CRIMMINS, COL. M.L. 1930. Some Indian GUERNSEY, "SAMUEL JAMES and 



as artifact: pit structures and Pueblos in 
the American Southwest. American 

Antiquity 52(3): ^38-564. 
GILMORE, HARRY W. 1953. Hunting 

habit- of the Nevada Paiutes. American 
Anthropologist 55:148-153. 



illustrations prehistoric and historic. 
Bulletin of the Texas Archeological and 
Paleontological Society 2:69-75. 
CUSHING, FRANK HAMILTON. 1920. 
Zurii Breadstuff. Indian Notes and 
Monographs, Vol. 8. Museum of the 



AI FRED VINCENT KIDDER. 1921 
Basket-Maker Caves of Northeastern 
Arizona. Papers of the Peabody 
Museum of American Archaeology and 
Ethnology, Vol. 8, No. 2. Cambridge, 
Ma- ichusetts. 



American Indian, Heye Foundation, GUNNERSON, JAMES H 1959. 1957 
New York. Excavations, Glen Canyon Area. 



DU BOIS, CORA. 1935. Wintu ethnography. 
University of California Publications in 
American Archaeology and 
Ethnography 36:1-148. 

ECHLIN, DONALD R., PHILIP J. WILKE 
and LAWRENCE E. DAWSON. 1981. 
Ord Shelter. Journal of California and 
Great Basin Anthropology 3(l):49-68. 

ELSTON, ROBERT G. 1986. Prehistory of 
the western area Pp. 141-148 in 
Handbook of North American Indians: 
Great Basin, Vol. 11. W. L. d'Azevedo 
(editor). Smithsonian Institution, 
Washington, D.C. 

FEWKES, JESSE WALTER. 1989a [1914] 
The Mimbres Art and Archaeology. 



University of Utah Anthropological 



Series 



Salt Lake City 



HUDSON, JEAN 1991. Nonselectiv 

hunting strategies: 



an 



game 

ethnoarchaeological study of Aka 

Pygmy sites. Pp. 105-120 in Human 
Predators and Prey Mortality, Mary C. 
Stiner (editor). Westview Press, Boulder, 



Colorado. 



Implications 



snare bundles in the Great Basin and 
Southwest. Journal of California and 
Great Basin Anthropology 1:306-321 
1980. Wood and reed artifacts. Pp. 



I 



154 



SHAFFER ETAL. 



Vol. 16, No.2 



(editor). University 



of 



Utah 



Anthropological Papers, No. 104. 



University of Arizona, No. 35. 
University of Arizona Press, Tucson. 



KABOTIE, FRED. 1982. Designs from the MOULARD, BARBARA. L. 1984. Within 



Ancient Mimbrenos with Hopi 
Interpretation, 2nd edition. Northland 
Press, Flagstaff, Arizona. 



the Underworld Sky: Mimbres Ceramic 
Art in Context. Twelve Trees Press, 
Pasadena, California. 



KELLY, ISABEL T. 1932. Ethnography of the OLSEN, SANDRA L. and JOHN W. OLSEN. 



Surprise Valley Paiute. University of 
California Publications in American 
Archaeology and Ethnology 31(3). 

KIDDER, ALFRED VINCENT and 
SAMUEL J. GUERNSEY. 1919. 
Archeological Explorations in 
Northeastern Arizona. Bureau of 
American Ethnology, Bulletin 65. 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 
D.C. 

LAMBERT, MARJORIE F. and J. RICHARD 
AMBLER. 1961. A Survey and 

Hidalgo County, 



Me 



Mexico 



LEBLANC, STEVEN A. 1983a. The 
Mimbres People. Thames and Hudson 



Ltd., London. 



Mimbres 



23-38 in Mimbres Pottery: Ancient Art 
of the American Southwest. Paul 



M 



New York. 



LINARES 



in the American tropics. Human 

Ecology 4(4):331 -349. 

EB, E. M. 1932. The Western Kuksu Cult. 

University of California Publications 

American Archaeology and Ethnology 

33:1-138. 

1933. The Eastern Kuksu Cult. 



1996. An analysis of faunal remains from 
Wind Mountain. Appendix 8 in 
Mimbres Mogollon Archaeology: 
Charles C. Di Peso's Excavations at 
Wind Mountain, Anne I. Woosley and 
Allan J. Mclntyre (editors). Amerind 
Foundation, Inc., Archaeology Series 
No. 10. University of New Mexico Press, 

Albuquerque. 

OSWALT, WENDELL. H. 1976. An 
Anthropological Analysis of Food- 
Getting Technology. John Wiley & Sons, 
New York. 

PENNINGTON, C. W. 1963. The Tarahumar 
of Mexico: Their Environment and 
Material Culture. University of Utah 
Press, Salt Lake City. 

PETERSON, JEAN TRELOGGEN. 1982. 
The effect of farming expansion on 
hunting. Philippine Sociological Review 
30:33-50. 

POWELL, SUSAN JOAN. 1977. Changing 
subsistence patterns as reflected in 
faunal remains from the Mimbres River 
area, New Mexico. Unpublished MA 
research paper on file with James Hill, 



Department 



of 



Anthropology, 



University of California Publications 
American Archaeology and Ethnology 
33:139-232. 

UD, LLEWELLYN L. and MARK R. 
HARRINGTON. 1929. Lovelock Cave. 
University of California Publications in 



University of California, Los Angeles 
RADIN, PAUL. 1923. The Winnebago Tribe. 
Thirty-Seventh Annual Report of the 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 
D.C. 
REAGAN, ALBERT B. 1919-1921. Hunting 
and fishing of various tribes of Indians. 



Kansas Academy 
Transactions 30:443-448. 



of 



Science, 



American Archaeology and Ethnology, SCHELLBACH, LOUIS, III. 1927. Ancient 



Vol. 25, No. 1. University of California 
Press, Berkeley. 

MCKENNEN, R. 1935. Hunting. Pp 61-76 
in Walapai Ethnography, A. L. Kroeber 
(editor). Memoirs of the American 
Anthropological Association, No. 42. 
Menasha, Wisconsin. 

MORRIS, ELIZABETH ANN. 1980. 
Basketmaker Caves in the Prayer Rock 
District, Northeastern Arizona. 
Anthropological Papers of the 



bundles of snares from Nevada. Indian 
Notes and Monographs 4(3):232-240. 

SHAFER, HARRY J. 1982a. Classic Mimbres 
Phase households and room use 
patterns. The Kiva 48(1 -2): 17-37. 

1982b. Prehistoric agricultural 

climax in southwestern New Mexico: 
The Classic Mimbres Phase. Pp. 3-15 in 
Southwestern Agriculture: Pre- 
Columbian to Modern, Henry C. 
Dethloff, and Irvin M. May, Jr. (editors). 



Winter 1996 



iNOmOLCX.> 



15 



Texas A&M University Press, College 
Station. 

— and ROBBIE L. BREWIXGTON. 



Mimbrenos AsDepictedln IVsignson 

rheir Pottery. The Artifact 2 14-k\ 

SPII R, LESLIE. 1928. Havasupa 

ethnography. Anthropological l\ij 4 

the American Museum of Natural 

History 29:83-392. 

_ 1955 Mohave culture items 

Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin, 
No. 28. Flagstaff 
and ceramic style change. Journal of STEELE, D. GENTRY and BARRY W. 



1995. Microstylistic changes in Mimbies 
Black-On-White pottery: examples from 
the NAN Ruin, Grant County, New 
Mexico. The Kiva 61:5-29. 

and ANNA |. TAYLOR. 1986. 
Mimbres Mogollon Pueblo dynamics 



Field Archaeology 13(l):43-68. 

SHAFFER, BRIAN SAWYER. 1991. The 



Economic Importance of the Vertebrate 
Faunal Remains from the NAN Ruin 
(LA 15049), A Classic Mimbres Site 



Grant County, 



N e v v 



Mexico, 



Unpublished MA thesis, Department of 

Anthropology, Texas A&M University, 
College Station. 

, HOLLY A. NICHOLSON, and 



BAKER. 1993. Multiple predation a 
finitive human hunting strategy Pp 

9-37 in From Bones to Behavior 

I thnoaichaeologkal and Experimental 
( ontributions to the Interpretation ot 
I aunal Remains. |ean Hudson (editor). 



Center 



for 



Archaeological 



Investigations, Occasional Paper No. 21 

Southern Illinois Universitx 
Carbondale. 
STEPHEN, Al EXANDER M. 1936 Hopi 

Journal of Alexander M. Stephen, edited 
by Elsie Clews Parsons. Columbia 
University Pre >, New York. 
STEWARD, JULIAN H. 1933. Ethnography 
of the Owens Valle\ Paiute. University 

of California Publications in American 

Archaeology and Ethnology 33:233-350. 

UNDERHILI ', RUTH. 1991 Life in the 

Pueblos. Ancient City Press, Santa Fe, 

New Mexico. 

Mimbres: A perishable technology WHEAT, MARGARET M. 1967. Survival 



KAREN M. GARDNER. 1995. Possible 

Mimbres documentation of Pueblo 

snake ceremonies in the eleventh 

century. North American Archaeologist 

16(l):17-32. 

and KAREN M. GARDNER. 



1995a. The rabbit drive through time: 
analysis of the North American 
ethnographic and prehistoric evidence. 
Utah Archaeology 8(l).T3-25. 
1995b. The fish-carrvine Dole of 



preserved on pottery. The Artifact 
33(2):l-7. 
SNODGR ASS, O. T 1973. A Major Mimbres 
Collection by Camera: Life Among the 



Arts of the Primitive Paiutes. University 
of Nevada Press Reno. 
WHITE, LESLIE A. 1962. The Pueblo of S.a, 
New Mexico. Bureau of American 

Ethnology, Bulletin 184. 



BOOK REVIEW 



Environmental Values in American Culture. Willett Kempton, James S. Boster 
and Jennifer A. Hartley. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The 
MIT Press, 1995. $39.95(hardcover). Pp. xiii; 320. ISBN 0-262-11191-8. 

This carefully executed, clearly presented and reasoned study by three an- 
thropologists explores an important domain: shared cultural understandings, or 
cultural models, related to global warming and other environmental changes in 
the United States. Attention to the conceptual underpinning of popular American 
thinking about the environment is critical "as the cultural framework shapes the 
issues people see as important and affects the way they act upon those issues" (p. 
1). Surprisingly, given the participation of members of groups that might be ex- 



156 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.2 



pected to hold divergent views about the environment, the researchers discover 
that environmental beliefs are broadly shared in American culture. This is true 
even for those whose livelihoods had been negatively impacted by environmental 
legislation. Yet, in spite of the overall consensus, when drawn upon existing cul- 
tural models, like pollution for example, to make sense of a new, and quite different 
problems, like global warming, this cognitive strategy has the potential of leading 
to ineffective policy and actions. 

In nine chapters, the authors present the study's rationale and distinctive fea- 
tures of its design; review the survey evidence for increasing environmental 
concerns in the United States; relate the cultural models for nature, weather and 
the atmosphere and show how these cultural models contrast with scientific and 
specialist models; examine fundamental environmental values and their links to 
other core American values; explore the relationship of cultural models to policy 
reasoning; present case studies of influential specialists highlighting how indi- 
viduals shape and remember information to be consistent with their interests; 
analyze patterns of agreement and disagreement; and address the implications of 
their findings. The four appendices contain: details on data collection and analy- 
sis; background information on informant demographics; the full protocols for 
the two interview formats used; and case studies of several citizens (which comple- 
ment those of specialists in the main text). 

This book builds upon the previous insightful and meticulous empirical stud- 
ies of the first two authors and contributes to the anthropological literature in at 
least four areas: 1) representing the cultural models and values which underlie 
American environmentalism, a domain hitherto receiving relatively little infor- 
mation from anthropologists; 2) presenting a careful exploration of the extent of 
intracultural variation by interviewing and comparing groups of people likely to 
differ, as well as a sample drawn from the general public; 3) understanding cogni- 
tive processes and their relation to individual and cultural knowledge; and 4) 
providing a valuable and detailed methodological exposition of the characteris- 
tics and strengths of the research design and analysis. 

Decisions made in regard to sample selection may raise questions about the 
generalizability of the study's findings, given that the choice process contributed 
to the preponderance of white and middle class participants. However, by juxta- 
posing findings from more broadly based surveys on environmental issues, the 
authors provide additional support for their findings while pointing to the under- 



ing differences between their methods and survey methodology 



lm 



design 



book is relevant to a much broader audience than many 
And while the authors adopt a methodologically sophistic; 



gists alike. 



making the book accessible to anthropologists and non-anthropolo 



Linda C. Garro 
Department of Community Health Sciences 

750 Bannatyne Ave. 

University of Manitoba 

Winnepeg, Manitoba CANADA R3E OW3 



Journal of Ethnobiology 



Winter 



ETHNOICHTHYOLOGY OF GAMBOA 
FISHERMEN OF SEPETIBA BAY, BRAZIL 



VILMA A. PAZ AND ALPINA BEGOSSI 

Niideo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais (NEPAM) 

Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), CP 6166 



Campinas, 13081-970, SP, Brazil 



ABSTRACT.— We 



Gamboa, Itacuru^a Island, Sepetiba Bay, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
Ethnobiology includes the study of the folk classification of organisms; thus 



ethnoichthyology 



rph 



an 



lowing Berlin's framework, the folk taxonomy of Gamboa's fishermen includes 
fish as a life-form and ethnofamilies as intermediate taxa. The knowledge fisher- 
men have about the ecology and behavior of fish is, for the most part, in concor- 
dance with the scientific literature. This important result reinforces the current 
ethnobiological consensus and may justify the inclusion of local fishermen in 
management decisions in this priority conservation area, the Atlantic Forest coast 
of Brazil. 

RESUMO .— Este e um estudo sobre a etnoictiologia dos pescadores de Gamboa, 
Ilha de Itacuru^a, Baia de Sepetiba, Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Etnobiologia 
e o estudo da classificagao popular dos organismos e etnoictiologia inclui o 
conhecimento popular sobre os peixes. Os pescadores de Gamboa identificam os 
peixes baseando-se em criterios morfologicos e ecologicos. Um sistema de 
classifica^ao hierarquico, incluindo os peixes agrupados em etnofamilias, foi 
observado. Segundo a terminologia de Berlin, a taxonomia popular dos pescadores 
de Gamboa inclui os peixes como "life-form" que inclui etnofamilias como "inter- 
mediate taxa." O conhecimento dos pescadores sobre a ecologia e comportamento 
dos peixes esta, em grande parte, em concordancia com a literatura cientifica. 
Estes resultados sao importantes pois refor^am a literatura a literatura corrente 
em etnobiologia e podem contribuir para a inclusao dos pescadores em decisoes 



conserva<;ao 



Atlantica. 
RESUME 



ethnoichtyologi 



aneiro 



Bresil. L'ethnobiologie inclut 1'etude de la classification populaire des organismes 
et, par consequent, l'ethnoichtyologie subsume la classification populaire des 
poissons. Les pecheurs de Gamboa classent les poissons a partir de criteres 
morphologiques et ecologiques. Un systeme hierarchique de classification 
comprenant des poissons classes en ethnofamilies a ete observe. Suivant la 
terminologie de B. Berlin, la taxinomie populaire des pecheurs de Gamboa 
comporte une 'forme de vie' poisson qui comprend elle-meme des ethnofamilies 
comme 'taxons intermediaires'. La connaisssance que les pecheurs ont de l'ecologie 



158 



PAZ and BEGOSSI Vol. 16, No.2 



et des moeurs des poissons correspond, en grande partie, a celle des scientifiques 
occidentaux. II s'agit la d'un resultat important qui renforce le consensus 
ethnobioloeiaue actuel et qui peut iustifier la participation des pecheurs locaux 



administratives dans des regions de conservation 



comme la foret atlantique cohere du Bresil. 



INTRODUCTION 



Ethnoscience includes the study of the perceptions, knowledge, and classifi- 
cation of the world by different cultures. Most ethnoscience research has dealt 
with specific domains, such as folk medicine, color categories, and plant classifi- 
cation (Garbarino 1977). Ethnobiology refers to the study of the perceptions that 
different peoples have of living organisms, in particular, how they classify those 
organisms. According to Simpson (1962), systematics is the scientific study of the 
morphology, diversity, and relations among organisms and includes their assem- 
blages or groups and related nomenclature. The analytical part of systematics is 
called taxonomy (Vanzolini 1992). Berlin (1992) proposed about a dozen general 
principles for folk biosystematics, which include the proposal that categories of 
organisms will be of varying degrees of inclusiveness and that these ethnobiological 
categories may be assigned to one of Berlin's universal folk taxonomic ranks, that 
is, unique beginner, life-form, intermediate, generic, specific, or varietal. 

Different groups or communities may classify organisms using different crite- 
ria, but apparently there are some universal aspects in the classification processes. 
Organisms may be grouped according to habitat, such as among the Meninaku 
Indians (Costa 1988), or according to their occurrence and feeding behavior (Silva 
1988), in addition to their morphology. Classificatory systems may include more 
than one system, as shown by Marques (1991), which identified hierarchical (with 
inclusive categories), sequential (with serial orders following some criteria), con- 
centric (including focal species), and cyclic (based on different stages of 
development) systems of fish classification among fishermen from the state of 

Alagoas, Brazil. These classificatory patterns were used together as coexisting sys- 
tems. 

In Brazil, pioneering ethnobiological studies were carried out by Posey (1981, 
1983, 1986) on the ethnoecology and ethnoentomology of the Kayapo Indians (in 
the north of Brazil). Studies of Brazilian ethnoichthyology include riverine fishing 
communities (Begossi and Garavello 1990) and maritime communities (Begossi 
1989; Begossi and Figueiredo 1995; Marques 1991, 1994). These studies have shown 
the deep knowledge fishers have about the taxonomic relations, ecology, and be- 
havior of fish species. Marques (1991), in particular, documents a very detailed 
Brazilian ethnoichthyological system. 

In this study we describe aspects of the folk taxonomy of fishermen from 
Gamboa, including attributes used in classification of ethnoichthyological fami- 
lies and the feeding behavior and habitat preferences of fish species. Nine 
ethnofamilies of common occurrence — which were mentioned by most or all fish- 
ermen interviewed — are analyzed. At Gamboa "f ish" is a life-form which includes 
ethnofamilies as intermediate taxa, following Berlin (1992). 



Winter 1 996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



159 



THE COMMUNITY OF GAMBOA 



Gamboa is a community of 26 related nuclear families 



km 2 



Janeiro. The importance of G 
fishing community remaining 




RJ 






« _ 









/ 






/ Rio de Janeiro 



Niteroi 



Sepefiba Bay 
Grande I. Itacuruca I . 





Buzios I. 



Sao Se bast idol 







50 



100 



150 



200 Km 




* 



I /4.000.000 



FIGURE 1.— Map of the region within Brazil. 

On Itacuruca Island, as in other major islands of Sepetiba Bay, there are many 
houses owned by non-residents such as tourists and high mcome families from 
the city of Rio de Janeiro. Tourism is vigorously promoted. There are many tourist 
hotels on the so-called Green Coast ("Costa Verde"), which includes areas of the 
Afi^f^ Pnrocf x wpII p»s islands in the bay. 



160 



PAZ and BEGOSSI 



Vol. 16, No.2 




FIGURE 2. — Itacuruga Island. 

Itacuruga Island includes about 50 fishermen's houses, representing 21% of all 
the houses (Hoefle 1989). Temporary residents own the majority of the island's houses. 
Gamboa has survived as an artisanal fishing community on Itacuruc^a probably be- 
cause of its location next to a mangrove forest, an area usually avoided by tourists. 
Most Gamboa residents (33 out of 45) were born here. Illiteracy (including func- 
tional illiteracy) is relatively low (26%) compared to other communities and to other 
Brazilian rural areas (Begossi 1992a). Illiteracy is in general lower in the more devel- 
oped southeast of Brazil than in other Brazilian regions. Gamboa literacy rates are 
high compared to those of more isolated communities of the Atlantic Forest coast, 
such as Biizios Island, where 53% are illiterate (Begossi 1996). Economic activities at 
Gamboa are essentially fishing, tourism, and some agriculture. 

Fishing is performed in paddled or motorized canoes, often using small encir- 
cling nets with 30 mm mesh for shrimp and fish (see Figure 3). Marine animals 
commonly consumed or sold by families are shrimp (Pennaeus schmitti), corvina 
(Micropogonias furnieri) , pescada (Cynoscion spp., among others) and parati (Mugil 
curema). Marine animals are very important in the diet of families from Gamboa, 
representing about 67% of the meat consumed. 



PROCEDURES 



This study is part of a larger study conducted from 1989 to 1991 on fishing and 
fishermen of Sepetiba Bay including fishing strategies and fishing techniques, diet, 
and information on ethnobotany (Begossi 1991, 1992a; Figueiredo et al. 1993). In 
this previous field work, 66 fish species (corresponding to 73 "folk species" or ter- 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



161 











*<■» i 



.■■ 






tk> 





*i 




I 




FIGURE 3. — Gamboa fisherman 



minal folk taxa) were collected from fish- 



ermen 



This fish 



a partial representation of the diversity of 
fish in the region. Fish were identified 
based on keys by Figueiredo (1977), 
Figueiredo and Menezes (1978, 1980), and 
Menezes and Figueiredo (1980, 1985). The 
ethnoichthyological aspects of this study 
were recorded primarily from subsequent 
interviews with local community mem- 
bers, since most fish had been collected 
and identified earlier in the study (Begossi 
and Figueiredo 1995). 

After interviewing all adult members 
of the community and collecting data on 
diet and fishing, we focused interviews on 
specific ethnoichthyological topics. These 
were completed during several visits in 
1990 and 1991. For these interviews we 
initiallv included all 11 full-time fishermen 



Gamboa 



fishermen, because some 



them subsequently shifted their economic activities from 
Interviews were based on questionnaires t 



as: 



// 



names 



// // 



What are the relations among 



species (if any)?" "How are they assembled in groups?" We included as well ques- 
tions on fish diet and habitat. Interviews were conducted at fishermen's houses 
while fishermen were doing daily tasks, such as cleaning, sewing, or manufactur- 
ing nylon nets (see Figure 4). 







— Gamboa fisherman manufacturin 



162 



PAZ and BEGOSSI Vol. 16, No.2 



f interview was performed with 58 cards, each one illustrated 
from Suzuki (1986). The cards were organized using random 



numbers. Fishermen were asked to assemble 



same " family. " We 



tered some difficulties employing this method. Fishermen sometimes had difficulty 
recognizing the fish species illustrated. We attribute this to two factors. First of all, 
fishermen were not accustomed to fish in just two dimensions. Secondly, there 
were imperfections or errors in the descriptions of species in the drawings on the 
cards. The cards used included drawings with insufficient detail and faithfulness. 



cards used. 



gnized these problems 
h taxonomist J. L. Fieut 



FISHERMEN'S KNOWLEDGE: ETHNOTAXONOMY AND ETHNOECOLOGY 

Fishermen learned about fish from their parents or from other "old," i.e., ex- 
perienced, fishermen, as is typical of "vertical" cultural transmission (Cavalli-Sforza 
and Feldman 1981). Morphological features seemed the most important in charac- 
terizing fish, but ecological features were also important. Fish are recognized as 
such because they have scales, gills, do not have hair, and live, breathe, and repro- 
duce in the water. 

The life-form "fish" includes a variety of aquatic organisms, including turtles 
but excluding moray eels. Moray eels were not considered to be fish by most (nine 
of 11) fishermen because they are snake-shaped and aggressive, biting like a snake. 
Since the moray eel ethnofamily is considered more similar in shape to land ani- 
mals, it is separated from the fish life-form. This supports Randall and Hunn (1984). 



consider to be 



// 



form may or may 



include 



animal 



Gamboa fishermen utilize an hierarchical classification, including ethnospecies 

(Berlin's terminal taxa) within ethnofamilies (Berlin's polytypic folk generic and 

intermediate taxa) and these in the life-form fish. Ethnofamilies are characterized 

by a variety of criteria, but the most important are morphological, followed by 

criteria such as the quality of the flesh (e.g., tasteful, strong, white), monetary value 

(e.g., cheap or expensive), and ecological relations (e.g., schooling behavior, diet, 
habitat). 

Ethnofamilies.- This category was suggested by Marques (1991) when studying 
fishermen from the State of Alagoas, Brazil. He found, for example, that the family 
Mugihdae was considered by fishermen to constitute two distinct ethnofamilies 
(famiha da tainha and familia do curima). Silva (1988) also observed that fishermen 
from Piratininga, State of Rio de Janeiro, were assembling fish into "families." At 
Gamboa, ethnofamilies are also typically given a name consisting of familia do/da 
followed by X, the name of a generic level taxon within the family. Examples in- 
clude the familia do cagao (shark family) and familia da arraia (ray family). Berlin 
(1992) observed that the terms "relative of" or "companion of" were used by Tzetal 
Maya of Mexico for similar species and that these were called "brothers" - " 



same family" by the Aguaruna and Jivaro of Peru 



or mem 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



163 



Table 1. — Ethnofamilies of fishermen from Gamboa, Sepetiba Bay, Rio de 
Janeiro, Brazil, and associated information. 



Ethno- Ethnospecies Species Collected 1 

family 

Arraia (rays) 

Arraia pinima Gymnura altavela 



Cards Used 



Ethnohabitat 



in Sorting Task (pg. 166) 



Ethnodiet 
(pg. 166) 



Gymnura altavela 
Dasyatis guttata 

Dasyatis guttata 
Dasyatis guttata 
A. manteiga Dasyatis guttata 



A. morcego 
A. lixa 
A. chita 
A. jereba 



A. cabocla 
A. moitao 



Rhinoptera bonasus 
Rhinoptera boiwsus 



Gymnura 
Gymnura 

Dasyatis, Raja mud, sand 

Dasyatis, Raja mud, sand 

Dasyatis, Raja mud, sand 

Dasyatis, Raja mud, sand 

card not used mud, sand 

card not used mud, sand 



open sea 2 , coast fish, crust.* 
open sea, coast fish, crust. 



Ca^ao (sharks) 



Cagao viola 
Ca^ao viola 
C. aniqui 



Rhinobatos horkelii 
R. percellens 
not collected 



C. tintureira 



not collected 



Tintureira 
verdadeira 



not collected 



Tubarao 



not collected 



Rhinobatos 
Rhinobatos 

Galeocerdo, 
Mustelus, 
Carcharhinus 

Galeocerdo, 
Mustelus, 
Carcharhinus 

Galeocerdo, 
Mustelus, 
Carcharhinus 

Galeocerdo, 
Mustelus, 
Carcharhinus 



tit 



open sea 
open sea 



open 



open 



open sea 



C. babaqueira Rhizoprionondon lalandei card not used open sea 
C. baniquinha Rhizoprionondon lalandei card not used open sea 

C leitao 

Boto 3 

C. campeba 



Rhizoprionondon lalandei card not used open sea 

card not used open sea 



not collected 
Sphyrna tiburo 



Sphyrna 



open sea 



Cobra do mar/ Moreia (eels/ moray) 

Cobra not collected 

verdadeira 



Conger 



mud 



Moreia 
Caramburii 



Gymnothorax ocelatus 
Gymnothorax ocelatus 
Camburupi Gymnothorax ocelatus 

Mu^um 



Vira-vira 

Galo (moonfish) 

Galo 



not collected 
not collected 



Gymnothorax, rocky shores 

rocky shores 

rocky shores 
rocky shores 



Muraena, 

Ophichtus 

card not used 



card not used rocky shores 



fish, crust, 
fish, crust, 
fish, crust 
fish, crust, 
fish, crust, 
fish, crust. 



fish 
fish 

fish 



fish 



fish 



fish 



fish 

fish 
fish 

fish 
fish 



fish 



fish 
fish 
fish 
fish 
fish 



Selene vomer 



Selene 



open sea, rocky fish, crust 



substrate 



Peixe-porco (filefish) 



Peixe-porco Stephanolepis hispidu 



Sororoca/ Cavala (mackerels) (Scombridae) 



Stephanolepis rocky shores, algae, crust 



Aluterus 



open sea 



Sororoca 
Cavala 



Scomberomorus brasiliensis Scomberomorus, open sea 



not collected 



Scomberomorus, open sea 
Scomber 



fish 
fish 



164 



PAZ and BEGOSSI 



Vol. 16,No.2 



Table 1. — Continued 



Ethno Ethnospecies Species Collected 
family 



Cards 



Ethnohabitat 



Ethnodiet 



Bade jo/ Caroupa / Mira (Serranidae) 



Badejo 
Mira 
Cherne 
Mero 



Epinephelus niveatus 
not collected 



Epinephelus 
Epinephelus 



Xareu/ Carapau (Carangidae) 



Xareu 



Caranx hippos 



Caranx 



Olhudo 



C. latus 



Caranx 



Xarelete 



C. latus 



Caranx 



Carapau 



C. latus 



Caranx 



Palombeta 



open sea, 

coast shores 
open sea, 

coast shores 
open sea, 

coast shores 
open sea, 

coast shores 



Chloroscombrus chrysurus Chloroscombrus coast shores 

Tachinotus 



Linguado (flounders) 

Linguado 



Citharichthys spilopterus Paralichthys mud, sand 



not collected Mycteroperca rocky substrate fish 

Mycteroperca acutirostris Mycteroperca rocky substrate fish 



rocky substrate fish 
rocky substrate fish 



fish, crust. 



fish, crust. 



fish, crust. 



fish, crust. 



Crustacea 



fish, crust., 
detritus 



crust. =crustacea 



1 Begossi and Figueiredo (1995) 

2 Called "mar grosso 



" or "mar aberto. 



n 



3 Boto is a dolphin (Cetacea). 



Nine ethnofamilies were readily recognized by all or most Gamboa fishermen 
(see Table 1). Other ethnofamilies were mentioned by a few fishermen, such as the 
families of snook, bluefish, and species of Cynoscion (Sciaenidae), also economi- 
cally important groups. Due to the small sample size and limited period of the 
investigation, we decided to analyze only the ethnofamilies mentioned by most or 
all fishermen. These were, besides the sharks and rays mentioned, sororoca/cavala 
(mackerels), gate (moonfish), mira/garoupa/badejo (groupers), peixe-porco (filefish), 
linguado (flounders), xareu/carapau (jacks), and cobra/moreia (eel/moray). These 
ethnofamilies are important for fishermen either because they are caught, eaten, 
and sold (mackerels, groupers, flounders, filefish, and jacks), or because they may 



purposes in terms 



morays). These results show the im 



ossi and Garavello (1990) also observed that fishermen from the Tocantins River 
on of Brazil have a detailed taxonomy based on how fish are used. 
Morphological criteria are very important in order tn rhara^ri™ lwh 



thnospecies and ethnofamilies 



meaning 



a 



spines, and the fish shapes are im 



example, the ethnofamily 



moray, and rays; while 



exem 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 165 



of rays and the white flesh of cavala (mackerel), groupers, and galo (moonfish). In 
another study nearby on Buzios Island (Begossi 1992b), strong-tasting flesh was 
linked to fish prohibitions or food taboos, for example, of rays. At Gamboa, rays 
were mentioned by 78% of 40 adults interviewed as a tabooed food. 

Market value, such as the high price of flounders, groupers, and mackerel-like 
fishes (compared to inexpensive fish, such as rays) were also noted in differentiat- 
ing fish. Other criteria used are those based on ecological features, such as the 
observations that mackerels school and have low rates of reproduction; that eels 



mud 



moonfish 



mackerels prefer waters of medium 



ornamental (pufferfish) value were also mentioned. Multiple criteria occur in the 
folk taxonomy of Gamboa fishermen, as in other Brazilian fishing communities 
(Marques 1991). Other ethnofamilies were distinguished by reference to fishing 
practices, as for example: shrimp lures are used for groupers; nets as well as lures 
are used for sharks; the high speed of moonfish make them difficult to capture; 
while mackerels show jumping behavior. Besides form and edibility, capture meth- 
ods were also observed to affect the folk taxonomy of fish among southern 
Philippine Sinama (Randall and Hunn 1984). 

The ethnofamily of morays includes several Western scientific families, such 
as the Muraenidae, Congridae, and Ophichthidae (see Table 1), all of which are of 
the order Anguilliformes. Similar results were found by Marques (1991) among 
fishermen from the State of Alagoas: in that case the ethnofamily was called mororo 
and included the Muraenidae, Ophichthidae, and Gobiidae. Their snake-like shapes 
seem the primary factor for grouping these species in both communities. 

The ethnofamily xareu/carapau includes ethnospecies that are subdivided into 
named size classes. Xareu are big, xerelete medium-sized, and olhudo small. How- 
ever, they are considered to be a single ethnospecies, with different names labeling 
forms differing only based on size, perhaps interpreted as phases of life-cycle 
development. In terms of the Western scientific taxonomy, we may be dealing with 
different species (Caranx hippos and C. latus). Another example of name differen- 
tiation based on size or on developmental stage is for the Mugilidae. Virote and 
tainha are also forms of the same ethnospecies: the first is the young and the sec- 
ond the adult of Mugil platanus. Marques (1991) also observed, among another 
group of Brazilian fishermen, systems of classification based on life-cycle devel- 
opment. ' 

Moonfish, a member of the Carangidae, were considered by fishermen from 
Gamboa to represent a different ethnofamily from the other Carangidae (see Table 
1). This monotypical ethnofamily may be attributed to the unusual morphology 

typical of moonfish. 

Some fish were well known to fishermen, but were not classified in any 

ethnofamily. These were Hipocampus puntulatus (cavalo do mar, sea horse), Euthynnus 

alleteratus (bonito) and Oligoplites saliens {guaivira, another jack). These may be cases 

of "unaffiliated generics" (Berlin 1992). Some ethnofamilies closely correspond to 

Western scientific families. According to Berlin (1992), intermediate taxa often group 

folk generics in ways that make good biological sense or correspond to Western 

scientific families. 



166 



PAZ and BEGOSSI Vol. 16, No.2 



Begossi and Figueiredo (1995) reported that at Sepetiba Bay about 20% of the 
ethnospecies were labeled with binomials. If these correspond to Berlin's folk ee- 



com 



cited by Berlin (1992). However, we believe that this original total was an underes- 
timate. We later recognized at least 11 polytypic genera, compared to just six cited 
by Begossi and Figueiredo (1995): arraia, bagre, baiacu, budiao, cacao, cam, corcoroca, 
garoupa, pescada, parati, and sardinha. 

Ethnohabitat and Ethnodiet.— Fishermen showed a detailed knowledge of fish habi- 



Moyl 



Comparing their folk knowledge 

Menezes 1978, 1980; Menezes 



mackerels 



correspond very closely to what is reported in this literature. Filefish were consid- 

^ ^ J 1 C* 1 . i» • _* 



fishermen to live in 



may be found in diverse habitats, from 



low waters to locations far from shore. Local fishermen 
mollusks, and Crustacea constitute the diet of filefish, which correspondswell with 
current ichthyological opinion. Other information shows less certain correspon- 
dence with the scientific literature. For example, while local reports of the feeding 
habits of the Carangidae correspond to this literature, reports of habitat prefer- 



Gamboa fishermen 



inhabit 



(with the exception of Caranx lugubris, which is found in 



Menezes 



CONCLUSIONS 



Some ethnofamilies are considered to be important by Gamboa fishermen be- 
cause of their economic value, such as the highly priced flounders and mackerels, 
others because they have medicinal uses, such as filefish (used for bronchitis), and 
still others because of their common occurrence, such as Carangidae and Serranidae. 
These observations reinforce a practical view, in a sense that people tend to per- 
ceive more detail for the most useful organisms (which might mean those that are 
consumed, sold, or perceived as dangerous). 

In terms of the folk categories mentioned by Berlin (1973, 1992), the folk tax- 
onomy of Gamboa's fishermen includes fish as a life-form that includes 
ethnofamilies ("intermediate taxa" and/or polytypic folk genera) given the same 
name as one (or more) ethnospecies included in each family. The grouping of fish 
in families may be a more general folk classificatory strategy than previously con- 
sidered, as shown by other studies on Brazilian fishermen (e.g., Marques 1991) 

The importance of comparing folk knowledge with Western scientific knowl- 
edge is obvious. It is another way of improving that knowledge, as some folk 
classifications have provided the basis for new scientific discoveries. Marques (1991) 
noted some examples, such as a catfish (Arius herzbergii) called bagre marrud from 
the Lagoa Manguaba, Alagoas, that included mayflies (Campsurus sp., 
Ephemeroptera, " mariposas" ) in its diet. 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



167 



A large part of the Brazilian coast includes remnants of the Atlantic Forest 
which are included in the Man in the Biosphere Program (MAB/UNESCO). The 
importance of fishermen's biological knowledge should not be underestimated, 
because it may be valuable for resource management in the region. It has been 
shown that in adopting certain innovations, local fishermen are aware of both 
ecological and economic costs and benefits of new technologies, and that this aware- 
ness is closely tied to their biological knowledge (Begossi and Richerson 1991). 
Brazilian fishermen also employ traditional technologies based on their knowl- 
edge of organisms, such as the caigara technique (brush parks) by which fish are 
attracted selectively using branches and leaves of different tree species, a form of 

native aquaculture (Marques 1991). 

Questions that our preliminary results have not yet resolved include the basis 
for recognition of relations among fish species, defined by local fishermen as fish 
that are similar to each other but differing in features such as size or taste. The 
place of the moray eel ethnofamily is also an aspect that needs to be better under- 
stood. Morays and other snake-shaped animals were grouped in an ethnofamily 
separate from the fish life-form. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



We thank the Departamento de Ecologia, UFRJ, where part of this study was 
developed, and the Brazilian Agencies: FAPERJ for financial aid to the field work 
(1990), FAPESP for a 1992 grant, and CNPq (Conselho Nacional de 
Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico) for grants and scholarships (1989-95). 
We are grateful for careful review and thoughtful suggestions by J. L. Figueiredo 
(who also reviewed the fish identifications) and J. G. Marques, and to E. Hunn as 
a referee. Finally, we thank L. Junqueira for the French translation of the abstract. 



LITERATURE CITED 



BEGOSSI, ALPINA. 1991. Sepetiba Bay 
project: an ecological approach to 
fishing communities. Human Ecology 
Bulletin (Spring /Summer) 7:4-7. 

BEGOSSI, ALPINA. 1992a. The use of 
optimal foraging theory to understand 
fishing strategies: a case from Sepetiba 
Bay (Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil). 
Human Ecology 20(4):463-475. 

BEGOSSI, ALPINA. 1992b. Food taboos at 
Biizios Island (Brazil): their significance 
and relation to folk medicine. Journal of 
Ethnobiology 12(1):117-139. 

BEGOSSI, ALPINA. 1996. The fishers and 
buyers from Biizios Island: kin ties and 
modes of production. Ciencia e Cultura 
48(3):142-147. 



from Biizios Island and Sepetiba Bay 
(Brazil). Bulletin of Marine Science 
56(2):682-689. 
BEGOSSI, ALPINA and JULIO C. 
GARAVELLO. 1990. Notes on the 
ethnoichthytology of fishermen from 
the Tocantins river. Acta Amazonica 

20:341-351. 
BEGOSSI ALPINA and P. J. RICHERSON. 
1991. The diffusion of "lambreta", an 
artificial lure, at Biizios Island (Brazil). 
Maritime Anthropological Studies 4: 87- 

103. 
BERLIN, BRENT. 1973. Folk systematics in 
relation to biological classification and 
nomenclature. Annual Review of 
Ecology and Systematics 4:259-271. 



BEGOSSI, ALPINA and JOSE L BERLIN, BRENT 1992. Ethnobiological 

Classification. Princeton University 



FIGUEIREDO. 1995. Ethnoichthyology 
of southern coastal fishermen: cases 



Press, Princeton. 



168 



PAZ and BEGOSSI 



Vol. 16, No.2 



CAVALLI-SFORZA, LUIGI L. and 
MARCUS W.FELDMAN. 1981. Cultural 
Transmission and Evolution: A 
Quantitative Approach. Monographs in 
Population Biology, 16. Princeton 
University Press, Princeton. 

COSTA, M. H. F. 1988. O Mundo dos 



e suas Representacoes MENEZES 



Mehinaku 

Visuais. Universidade de Brasilia, 
Brasilia. 



FIGUEIREDO, 
HERMOGENES 



GISELA 



M 



and ALPINA BEGOSSI. 1993. 
Ethnobotany of Atlantic forest coastal 
communities: diversity of plant uses in 
Gamboa (Itacuruca Island, Brazil). 
Human Ecology 2 (4):419-430. 



Manual 



Marinhos 



I. Introducao: Cacoes, Raias e Quimeras. 
Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de 
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo. 
FIGUEIREDO, JOSE L. and NAERCIO A. 
MENEZES. 1978. Manual de Peixes 



Marinh 



Museu 



Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo. 



and 



MENEZES 
Marinhos do Sudestedo Brasil: II. 
Teleostei (2). Museu de Zoologia, 
Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo. 
GARBARINO, MERWYNS. S. 1977 



signifi 

Annual 
50. 



Rinehart and Winston 
MARVIN 



W 



pequena escala no sudeste do Brasil: 
estrategias de capitalizacao frente a 
pesca empresarial e ao turismo no litoral 

1 /~~l * ^— ^ 



III Encontro de Ciencias Sociais e o Mar 
no Brasil (A. C. Diegues, editor). 
SaoPaulo: IOUSP/F. Ford/UICN. 
HUNN, EUGENE S. 1982. The utilitarian 
factor in folk biological classification. 



MARQUES, JOSE G. W 



// 



Guile of 



fish"and "sapience of the fisher": fish 
behavior as perceived by native 
fishermen of the State of Alagoas, Brazil. 
VII Meeting of the International Society 
for Comparative Psychology, University 
of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo. 



Manual 



Marinh 



M 



Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo. 
MENEZES, NAERCIO A. and JOSE L. 



Manual 



M 



M 



Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo. 



Sociocultural Theory in_Anthropology. RANDALL 



MOYLE, PETER B. and JOSEPH J. CECH. 
1982. Fishes, an Introduction to 
Ichthyology. Prentice-Hall, Inc., 
Englewood Cliffs. 

POSEY, DARRELL A. 1981. Wasp, warriors, 
and fearless men: ethnoentomology of 
the Kayapo Indians of Central Brazil. 
Journal of Ethnobiology 1:164-174. 

POSEY, DARRELL A. 1983. Indigenous 
knowledge and development: an 
ideological bridge to the future. Ciencia 
e Cultura 35(7) :877- 894. 

POSEY, DARRELL A. 1986. Etnobiologia: 
teoria e pratica. In Suma Etnologica 
Brasileira, Berta Ribeiro (editor). Vozes/ 
FINEP, Petropolis. 



HUNN. 1984. Do life-forms evolve or do 
uses for life ? Some doubts about 
Brown's universal hypotheses. 
American Ethnologist 11:329-349. 
SILVA, GLAUCIA. O. 1988. Tudo que tern 
na terra tern no mar: a classifica^ao dos 
seres vivos entre trabalhadores da pesca 



Masters 



Museu 



sul fluminense. Pp. 157-178 in Anais do SIMPSON 



Taxonomia Animal. Fundaqao Calouste 
Gulbenkian, Lisboa. 
SUZUKI, CARLOS M. 1986. Guia de Peixes 

do Litoral Brasileiro. Edicoes Maritimas, 

Rio ' " 



American Anthropologist 84:830-847. VANZOLINI, PAULO E 



MARQUES, JOSE. G. W 

ecologicos na etnoictiologia dos 
Pescadores do complexo estuarino- 
lagunar Mundau-Manguaba, Alagoas. 
Doctoral thesis, UNICAMP. Brazil. 



1992. Metodos 
Estatisticos Elementares em Sistematica 
Zoologica. Editora de Humanismo, 
Ciencia e Tecnologia (HUCITEC), Sao 
Paulo. 



Journal of Ethnobiology 16(2):169-183 



Winter 1996 



THE SYMBOLISM OF JAKALTEK MAYA TREE GOURD 
VESSELS AND CORN DRINKS IN GUATEMALA 



CAROL VENTURA 
Department of Music and Art 

Box 5045 
Tennessee Technological University 

Cookeville, TN 38505 

ABSTRACT. — In both prehistoric and historic America, gourds and corn have of- 
ten been associated with fertility. This association persists in the highland Guate- 
malan town of Jacaltenango, where a traditional corn beverage is drunk from a 
tree gourd (Crescentia cujete) vessel. The breast-like shape of the tree gourd vessel 
symbolizes the breast of Mother Earth, who sustains Jakalteks with her corn milk. 
This paper documents the tree gourd vessel and corn drink in Jacaltenango and 
explores Mayan gourd and corn traditions. 

RESUMEN. — En America, tanto en la prehistoria como durante el periodo 
historico, las jicaras y el maiz se han asociado frecuentemente a la fertilidad. Esta 
asociacion perdura en el pueblo de Jacaltenango en la zona alta de Guatemala, 
donde se bebe en una jicara de arbol (Crescentia cujete) una bebida tradicional de 
maiz. La forma de seno de la jicara simboliza el pecho de la Madre Tierra, quien 
sostiene a los jacaltecos con su leche de maiz. Este trabajo documenta el recipiente 
y la bebida de maiz en Jacaltenango y explora las tradiciones mayas acerca de la 
jicara y el maiz. 

RESUME. — En Amerique, la gourde et le mais ont souvent ete associes aux rites 
de fertilite. Cette association, qui remonte aux temps prehistoriques, persiste 



un village de montagm 



une boisson traditionnell 



{Crescentia cujete). Le recipient constitue par la gourde est en forme de sein et 



Jacalteq 



une 



examiner 



May 



INTRODUCTION 



In many parts of the Americas, gourds grow on both vines and trees. The two 
types of gourds are easily distinguishable because the rind of the tree gourd 



much 



r 1979:17, 72; King 1985:76, 77). The bottle 
known to both the Old and New Worlds 



Columbus 



the climate is sufficiently dry or the specimens 
preservation. 



170 



VENTURA Vol. 16, No.2 



Present archaeological evidence suggests that bottle gourds were cultivated 
since 7,000 BC, even before the Mesoamerican staples of corn and beans (McClung 
de Tapia 1992:154; Menzie 1976:9). Since gourds form natural containers with little 
processing, they were especially important before the invention of pottery. They 



items of ritual 



prominent position in 



m 



Mexicans 



victims in gourds, Mayas drank from painted gourds similar to ones still made 
today, and the Indians of Costa Rica and Panama adorned tree eourds with eold. 



trimmed some 



'er (Heiser 1979:172-174; Menzie 
in many parts of the Americas. 



Tree gourds and corn drinks caught my attention when I worked as a Peace 
Corps volunteer in Jacaltenango from 1976-1980 and again when I returned in the 
summer of 1986 to do my doctoral research on Jakaltek backstrap weaving. This 



show 



my research in Jacaltenan 



gnificance that dates to pre-Columbian times 



Jakaltek May 



Maya 



consuming traditional drinks from 



Jacaltenango.— -The Jakalteks have lived in the foothills of the Cuchumatan Moun- 
tains in northwest Guatemala since pre-Columbian times (Casaverde 1976:33; Cox 
Collins 1980:21; LaFarge and Byers 1931:7, 199), occupying an area centered on the 
town of Jacaltenango. Built on a bedrock plateau overlooking Mexican territory, 
the town of Jacaltenango is 1437 m above sea level, and has 11 surrounding vil- 
lages and 31 hamlets located at both higher and lower elevations (Merida Vasquez 
1984:276-277). Its advantageous ecological position allows access to a wide vari- 
ety of highland and lowland products. The principle crops are corn, beans, coffee, 
sugar cane, oranges, and bananas (Merida Vasquez 1984:277). It is a governmen- 
tal, religious, and market center and according to the latest available figures, had 
a municipal population of 18,012, of which 4,967 lived in Jacaltenango itself (Gua- 
temala 1984). 

The town's modern name, Jacaltenango, literally means "place of the grass 
covered huts" (Cox de Collins 1970:133-134). According to my Jakaltek language 



instructor, J 

white rock slabs," in Jakaltek 



// 



1 



place 



For many years, this area was both physically and culturally among the most 
remote from Spanish centers in thp rrmnf™ /Ttfofot-^h *i „/ iq7q.oc\ htu^ n^ 



from Huehuetenango, the departmental capital, was a ru 



km 



Martin 



Byers 1931:9-21). In 1974 an unpaved road was built, allowing for bus 



in Jacaltenango for 3 years before electricity was 



in 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 171 



many pre-Columbian traditions survived in 



Jacaltenango. Some of these ancient traditions attracted Oliver LaFarge 



in 



tional culture of the Jakalteks. According 
time, Catholic missionaries moved into t( 



tions into hiding. 



Mayan 



Gourds in Jacaltenango. — Both vine and tree gourds are cultivated in Jacaltenango. 
The bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) (tzuh in Jakaltek and tecomatc or calabaza in 
Spanish) grows between rows of corn surrounding the lowland villages of 
Jacaltenango. The vines discourage weeds by providing ground cover and some- 
times use the mature corn stalks for support. The Jakalteks harvest the bottle gourds 
when the vines dry out. The gourds are placed on ceiling rafters over cooking fire^ 
until the rinds have completely dried. The smoke from the cooking fires rises and 
deposits soot on the gourds, which keeps mold from growing on the exterior of 
the gourds as they dry. After the gourd has completely dried out, the exterior is 
washed and the rind is cut. The seeds are removed and the inside is scraped clean. 
The shape of the gourd determines its use. Large round bottle gourds are pro- 
cessed for storing tortillas, long ones for carrying water, and hourglass shaped 
gourds for canteens. Gourd canteens have a corncob stopper and are carried by 
looping a cord around their narrow center. Jakalteks say that water stays cooler 
and tastes better in a bottle gourd than in a plastic canteen. Although in some 
parts of the Americas bottle gourds are carved or painted, in Jacaltenango they are 
left plain. 

Two types of tree gourds grow in the Americas: Crescentia alata and Crescentia 
cujete, both of the Bignoniaceae family (Figure l). 2 

Only Crescentia cujete (tzima in Jakaltek and jicara 3 in Spanish) grows in the 
lowland villages of Jacaltenango, near the tree owner's house (Figures 2 and 3). 
Tree gourds are harvested in Jacaltenango when they are dark green. Sometimes a 
heavy wind blows them off the tree before they are fully mature. Simple process- 
ing transforms the green fruits into drinking cups, dippers, bowls, kitchen utensils, 
scales (Figure 4), and containers. In some parts of Mesoamerica, tree gourds are 
ornamented by carving and/or painting. 4 In Jacaltenango, tree gourds are deco- 
rated in a style unique to the area; a dark band encircles the middle (Figure 5). 

To decorate a gourd in this manner, a rag is tied around the middle of the 
gourd; the gourd is dipped into boiling water, first one half, then the other. When 
the rag is removed, a colored band (the original green color of the gourd) is re- 
vealed against a darker background. The next day the gourd is cut with a machete, 
and the inside is cleaned out with a stick (Figures 6, 7, and 8). The gourd is then 
left to dry for three days. When completely dry, the green stripe turns dark brown 
while the upper and lower portions of the gourd turn beige. Since gourd products 
are in demand and few people own gourd trees, the vessels are an economic com- 
modity and are sold locally. 



172 



VENTURA 



Vol. 16, No.2 






/~ 



FIGURE 1 .—Crescentia cujete: A. a branch with leaves; B. the flower; C. the fruit 
the leaf of Crescentia alata. This illustration is by Sylvia Garcia, from Arboles Tropic 
de Mexico, by T. D. Pennington and Jose Sarukhan, 1968. Courtesy of the Food i 
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Instituto Nacional 
Investigaciones Forestales. 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



173 





FIGURE 2. — A Crescentia cujete gourd 

tree in a lowland village of 
Jacaltenango, Guatemala. 



FIGURE 3.— A mature 14 cm 
Crescentia cujete gourd. 



SYMBOLISM OF THE GOURD IN NATIVE AMERICA 



important role in Native American 
ds and traps for birds. They are use 



coverings 



myths names 
1953:78, 83). 



// 



house of the gourd trees 



basins are used to bathe kings, and in 

' Hp<;rribe locations (Recinos and ' 



gourd may be associated with the human skull. In the Popul Vuh 
(Tedlock 1985), a Quiche Maya sacred book, the hero twins Hun-Hunahpu' and 
Vucub-Hunahpu' crossed a river which flowed among thorny gourd trees. In the 
underworld, Hun-Hunahpu' was decapitated. At the moment that his head was 
put in a tree, the tree instantly became covered with gourds. No one was allowed 
to pick the fruit or go near the tree. A girl, however, disobeyed and went near the 



The skull of Hun-Hunahp 



impregnate her by spitting 



pregnant 



in a eourd container. 



174 



VENTURA 



Vol. 16, No.2 







FIGURE 4. 



—A Jakaltek woman 
peanuts with a scale made 



from two 



tree gourd. She sells these peanuts to 



from 










■s» 



- 



J 



VPPP 



FIGURE 5. 



Jakaltek 



decorated with a band around the 
middle with six chuc'ul mixing sti 
These mixing sticks consist of a loi 
handle with several prongs on the 
mixing end. 



Mayan myth of the Corozal District in 



The 



divination purposes and a magical gourd tree seed was 



enemies (Thompson 



Some Maya believe that Chacs (rain deities) ride across the sky sprinklin 
from a gourd with one hand while holding machete-like lightning in the 
hand (Thompson 1970:253-54). 

The Aztecs also associated gourds with skulls. According to Lucien Biart ( 
some Aztec rulers fasted and prayed at Quauxicalco ("place of the tree gourc 
temple filled with skulls (Biart 1887:146). 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



175 







H 












■MIMI^HH 



■ 





FIGURE 6. — A spherical gourd is cut 
across the middle with a machete to 
make two bowls (called guacales; 
Recinos et ah 1950:114) while an 
oblong gourd is cut across the top to 
create a drinking vessel. Some have 
been decorated with a band across 
the middle. 



FIGURE 7.— This Jakaltek man uses a 
stick to scrape the insides and break 
up the pulp in the gourd. Other 
decorated and undecorated gourds lie 
at his feet, in various stages of 
processing. 







FIGURE 8.— As their 
children observe, 
this Jakaltek 
husband and wife 
team clean the white 
pulp from tree 
gourds, some of 
which have been 
decorated with a 
band around the 
middle. 




rl 






^HW ' ^MIHPP 



176 



VENTURA Vol. 16, No.2 



SYMBOLISM OF CORN IN NATIVE AMERICA 



Cultivated com, which constitutes seventy percent or more of the Mayan diet, 
springs to life only when man plants it. 5 Corn and man are interdependent since 
man has to pray for rain and protect it from weeds, wild animals, and insects. 
Corn is essential to the survival of many Native Americans, so it is not surprising 
that it plays a prominent role in American mythology and ritual. 

The Quiche Maya believe that the first modern man was created from corn. 
According to the Popul Vuh, four attempts were made to create the Quiche. The 
first Quiche were created from mud. They were fed wood and leaves, but were 
limp and could not move their heads. They spoke but had no mind, disintegrated 
in water, and could not stand. The second generation was created without souls or 
minds. They were made of wood but they did not remember their creators, and 



aimlessly on all fours. Their 



Some were 



turned into monkeys. The third generation of Quiche men 



coming to tne ropul Vuh, were made of bright red beans, tzite 6 (Erythrina sp.; 
Recinos et al. 1950:88), and women were made from cattail rushes (Tunha en ^ qwp 



men did not think 



Xmucane ma 



from the sky. The fourth and last generation of Quiche 
Quiche, were created of corn. According to the Popul 



from this food came man's strength and blood. His arms and legs were made 



men talked, saw. 



son 1970:333-334). 



Thomp 



entury Pocomam Maya birthing ceremony 



newborn child was psychically united to corn, with one being the counterpart of 
the other While praying for his well-being, the child's umbilical cord was cut over 
a multicolored ear of corn with a new obsidian knife. The knife was thrown in the 
river after the ceremony. The blood-stained ear was smoke cured and the grain 
was removed and sown with the utmost care in the name of the child The yield 
was harvested and resowed, and the increased yield eaten after a share had been 
given to the temple priest to maintain the boy until he was old enough to sow his 
own com It was said that thereby he not only ate of the sweat of his brow but of 
his own 'blood" (Thompson 



only two 



Bartolome de Las Casas detailed a similar colonial rite which differed in 
pects. The first food the child ate was a gruel made from the first 
narvest, ana some seed was kept so the boy could plant it himself when he was 
old enough. He then sacrificed the harvest to the gods (Thompson 1970283) 

* ™°T PS ° n (19 r 0) documented this P^ctice among the Tzotzil Maya, where 
the blood-spattered grains from the ear on which the umbilical cord was cut were 
sown by the father in a tiny corn field called "the child's blood." The growth of the 
little crop was carefully watched because it foretold the child's future The eating 
of the "blood crop" by all members of the family linked the child to the family. In 
Yucatec Maya, a youth of marriageable age was known as "corn plant coming into 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 177 



flower" (Thompson 1970:283-284). 

The 16th century Cakchiquel Maya believed that people were created of tapir 
and serpent blood kneaded together with corn (Recinos and Goetz 1953:47). 

The corn spirit is feminine. The Kanjobal Maya of San Miguel Acatan call corn 
the moon and the earth our mother and the three become identified in speech and 
thought (Siegel 1941:66). 

Corn not only influences a child's life, it guards it. Among the Bachajon Tzeltal 
Maya of Mexico, it is customary to leave an ear of yellow corn with a baby which 
has to be left unattended so that the child's soul will not be stolen (Blom and 
LaFarge 1926:360). In Jacaltenango in the 1930s, if a child was left for any reason, 
an ear of corn of any color was usually placed on each side of it (LaFarge and 
Byers 1931:80). I was told by local informants that this tradition still persisted in 

some parts of Jacaltenango in the 1980s 

The Jakaltek image of the cosmos envisions levels similar to those reported for 
other cultures. For example, the Chamulas (and Tzotzil Maya) of Chiapas, Mexico, 
conceptualize the universe in three levels (Gossen 1974:23, 34). Thompson wrote 
of the Yucatec Maya that: 



compass 



thirteen "layers 



// 



arms, supported the skies . . . There were 
n and nine of the underworld ... a giant ceiba 
Maya, the yaxche, "first" or "green" tree, stands 



he underworld 
Some Maya grc 



trunk 



climb to the highest sky ... the sky is male 



female, and this intercourse mystically brings life to the world. Similarly, 
light is male, and darkness female (Thompson 1970:195, 196). 

Some Nahuas of Mexico also associate com with blood. They say that people 
sprout from the earth like young com plants and conversely, the com plant is seen 
as a human body. The roots are its feet and the tassel its hair. Com is their blood 
(Sandstrom 1991:240, 241, 255). Among the Cora of west central Mexico, the moon 
goddess, who is also called "our mother," is goddess of the earth and corn and the 
sun's wife (Thompson 1970:246). 



from outside Mesoamerica 



Mesoamericans 



Americans 



themselves. She is their mother; they are made from 
east. Her milk is the grass upon which all animals { 



rn that has been created for man. The com plant is also a living entity with a 
dy similar to man's, and the people build its flesh into their own, so com is alsc 
>ir mother. Their mother appears in two aspects which are often synonymous 
Mother Earth and as the Com Mother (Waters 1964:7). 

Com is the metaphorical milk for the Hopi and unites the two principles ol 
nation, male and female. Frank Waters (1964) noted that when the plant begin* 
grow, the leaf curves back towards the ground like the arm of a child groping 



178 



VENTURA Vol. 16, No.2 



for its mother's breast. As the stalk grows upward in a spiral the male 
pears, then the female ear of corn shows herself, at the point corresponc 
halfway span of man's life. The female ear is now ready to be fertili2 
male tassel. The silk subsequently appears and pollen is dropped on the 
to mature and season to its fullest expression. When the tassel finally 
turn brown and bend downward, male and female have reached their ol 



"life line" 



(Waters 



// 



Because we 



with our pra 
was divinely 



into our own, corn is also our body. Hence, when we offer cornmeal 



// 



When 



corn, his Corn Mother, was placed beside him 



was kept for twenty days (Waters 1964:8, 135-136). 

For some of the Zuni, corn is the severed flesh of seven immortal maidens 
Each of the varieties sprouted from one of the maidens: yellow, blue, red, white 
speckled, black, and sweet corn (Cushing 1974:36, 42). 

Corn drinks and gourd vessels.— Corn preparation in Mesoamerica has changed little 
since pre-Columbian times. Fray Diego de Landa wrote in 1566 that corn was soaked 
over night in lime and water, cooked in the morning, then coarsely ground or 
stones and made into balls and stored. When needed, it was dissolved in a cup 
made from a tree gourd and drunk. Another drink was made with toasted com 



mixed with water and chile pepper or cacao. The 



Many pre-Columbian 



gods 



// 



with chocolate, "the drink of the 



Columbian 



drink was made of 415 grains 
ie number of grains in the nrei 



consumers' appetite. Sahaeiin noted similar 



toms in colonial Mexico (Kiddle 1948:129). Probably because of their connection 
with Mayan beliefs, in 1552, the Royal Audencia of Guatemala ordered the prohi- 
bition of ancient drinks and that the utensils and cups be burned (de Landa 

14 1 / ^^ * L— _ LJ \ 



1978:158) 



became 



Mexico and Guatemala were noted for the handsomely designed tree gourd 
sels from which the beverages were drunk. The phrase sacar la jicara (get out 
tree gourd) means "to welcome, or flatter" in Guatemala and Costa Rica. It re 
to the indigenous custom of welcoming visitors with a chocolate drink served 
gourd cup (Kiddle 1948:140). These cups were rounded at the bottom. To sup; 
them when set down, either a stand especially made for the purpose or a twil 



The "drink 



// 



Williams ,. 

corn beverage that was in pre-Columbian 



times a privilege of the elite, is today enjoyed by all Jakalteks. Besides its popular- 
ity at religious festivals, it is consumed routinely by those who can afford the luxury. 
Every morning, cooked and ground balls of corn mixed with chocolate are peddled 
door to door. At weddings, engagements, christenings, funerals, and other cer- 
emonies, Christian and non-Christian, gourds are still used to serve ceremonial 
food and drink, here and in many parts of Mesoamerica (Osborne 1965:322) sus- 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 179 



taining and renewing one both spiritually and physically. This custom of drinking 
beverages in gourd cups is not just ideological, but practical, because it is widely 
believed that beverages taste better when consumed from tree gourd vessels. The 
drinks include bebida or pozol of coarsely ground corn dough mixed with water; 
atole of water mixed with cooked corn dough; bebida drunk during fiestas of wa- 
ter mixed with toasted and ground peanuts and cacao with corn dough; a beverage 



mixed with corn and chile 



(Recinos et al 1950:211). 



Jakaltek 



When 



tree gourd, add water from a gourd or plastic jug, mix the drink with a < 
stick (Figure 5), then rotate it to keep the corn suspended in the water. 

The ancient association of corn drinks with gourds is documented in a J 
mvth: "Their thick necked eourds were empty, and without water tl 



corn 



// 



(Montejo el 



In lacaltenaneo, some of the dead are buried 



serve 



Thompson noticed the same custom among the Maya he studied in Belize 

(1970:310). 

Another Jakaltek Maya myth metaphorically connects the gourd to a woman's 
breast. To quote: "And our great coin, the cacao, whose nut we ground and took in 
delicious drinks served in long and bright gourds resembling our woman's breasts" 
(Montejo et al. 1984:8). The breast is that of Mother Earth, who sustains her chil- 
dren with corn milk bebida or atole drinks. The corn drink is mixed in the tree 
gourd with a three to five pronged chuc'ul stick (Figure 5), then right before drink- 
ing, the gourd is rotated in a motion reminiscent of the massaging action that a 
mother gives her breast before nursing her baby. 

Some Mexican people conceptualize the earth as a turtle and according to 
Recinos et al .(1950:222) , the Aztec word ayotl means both turtle and gourd. In the 
Quiche Maya book, the Popol Vuh the sky was referred to as the ' 
the "Blue Bowl" (Recinos et al. 1950:78). 



Green Gourd" or 



South American examples .—The tree gourd also has ritual significance in 



America, where a Barasana shaman 
lumps of bees wax and coca powder inside 



men 



made into 



ritual 



of Barasana women and are used in the preparation and consumption of food and 
drink, both secular activities. In general, Barasana plant products cultivated and 
owned by men come from above the ground (leaves and bark) and the useful 
parts of the plants cultivated and owned by women tend to come from below the 
ground (roots and tubers). This same contrast is found in these two kinds of gourds: 
men's eourds come from trees while women's gourds come from the vines that 



Jones 



Sun 



wraooed in 



180 



VENTURA Vol. 16, No.2 



at it. The gourd is the sun's head with a feather crown, eyes, eyebrows, a ton 
and a mouth and is kept on a stand because it must never touch the ground, 
wax is the shadow of prenatal children and the gourd is the womb (Hugh-T 
1979b:165-6). 

The South American Pira-Parana also conceive of a three layered univer 
great spherical gourd with the arch as a central horizontal plane (Hugh-J< 

258). The South American Barasana also compare the sky to a gourd (Hi 



Jones 1979b: 16' . 

The fact that similar beliefs are found 
North, Central, and South America that h; 
suggests that this concept is very old. 



CONCLUSION 



Jakalteks 



most 



- ould give no other reason than, "It is our tradition." A few 
traditional Jakalteks, however, suggested that the gourd could have religious sig- 
nificance. Most Jakalteks today speak Jakaltek Maya as their primary language 
and most Jakaltek women wear traditional clothing. The banded tree gourd might 
simply be an ethnic marker reinforcing distinctions of speech and dress. 

One highly educated Jakaltek man suggested the local decoration of the tree 
gourd symbolized the three levels of the cosmos. This is possible since the gourd 
is often associated with the earth and the cosmos is divided into three regions by 
both Christian and non-Christian Native Americas. The three levels of the Mayan 
cosmos may be graphically represented on the Jakaltek tree gourd; a dark female 
band running through the middle of a light male sky and underworld. Even the 
chuc'ul mixing stick is symbolic; its three, four, or five points representing the 
three levels, the four directions, or the four directions with a balanced center, all 



important Maya 



America, the sti 
in Jacaltenango 



metal cups have replaced the tree gourd in much 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



would like to thank Padre Arnulfo Delgado Montejo, a native Jakaltek, for 
nguistic and cosmological insights. This paper developed from a conversa- 
we had in 1986 about the symbolism of the stripe around the Jakaltek tree 
d vessel. His msight encouraged me to organize information that I had gath- 
during my four year residence in Jacaltenango and to review the literature in 
Guatemala and the United States on the symbolism and cultural importance 



corn 



NOTES 



Mayan 



Mayan (Day 1973:98). The Jakaltek Maya 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



181 



Popti' by the Academia de las Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala. 



2 Crescentia cujete is a 7-10 m high tree. It has a trunk of up to 20 cm in diameter, long 
drooping branches, spatula shaped leaves 15-30 cm long, and oval or round fruits 1 5-30 cm 
long. Crescentia alata is 3-12 m high, has a trunk of up to 50 cm in diameter, thick and 
sometimes interlaced branches, scaly light brown bark, narrow trifoliate 2-9 cm leaves that 
form a cross, and round or oval fruit that are 10-15 cm long. Both species are common at 
altitudes from sea level to 1,200 meters. On some Pacific coast sites of Central America, 
there are extensive stands of Crescentia cujete trees, forming a distinct and characteristic 
plant association. Although sometimes very large, the fruits are not heavy. The tube shaped 
flowers bloom only one night and are pollinated by bats (Pennington and Sarukhan 1968: 
374-375; Siebert 1940:383-384; Standley and Williams 1974:183-189). This tree was sacred to 
the Maya because of the cross-shaped leaves. Also, the thorns of the tree were used to draw 
blood for sacrificial purposes (Thompson 1930:190). 



3 Jicara might come from the Nahuatl word, xicalli. Sik-tli means navel (Karttunen 1983:323) 
and ka'-li means house or receptacle; the compound translates to "a receptacle having a 
navel" (Kiddle 1948:123-124; Morales 1978:3). 



4 A negative painting technique is employed in San Bernardino, Guatemala. The gourd is 
painted with wax (a sun and branch motif is popular), dyed, and then the wax is removed 
(Morales 1978:4). In Rabinal, Guatemala, gourds are cleaned and dyed with soot and insect 
wax by women and carved with a pointed tool by men. Others are cleaned and painted 
with red, yellow, or black oil paints (Morales 1982:3, 4; Osborne 1965:326-331). 

5 1 was told by several Jakaltek farmers that uncultivated corn still grows in some areas of 
Jacaltenango. Although I did not see a specimen, according to its description, the unculti- 
vated corn might be teosinte (Z. mexicana)(Ga\inat 1985:247; McClung de Tapia 1992:148). 

6 Like their cousins, the Quiche (see Recinos et al. 1950:88), Jakalteks use tzite beans for 



divination. 



LITERATURE CITED 



BIART, LUCIEN. 1887. The Aztecs (J. L. 
Garner, translator). A. C. McClurg, 

Chicago. 
BLOM, FRANS and OLIVER LAFARGE. 

1926. Tribes and temples. Tulane 

University, New Orleans. 
CASAVERDE, JUVENAL. 1976. Jacaltec 

social and political structure. Ph.D. 

dissertation. (Anthropology), 

University of Rochester, Rochester. 
COX DE COLLINS, ANITA. 1970. San 

Marcos Huista: unas notas. Indigena, 

Vol. 1, No. 1. 
COX COLLINS, ANNE. 1980. Colonial 
Jacaltenango, Guatemala: the formation 
of a corporate community. Ph.D. 
dissertation. (Anthropology), Tulane 



University, New Orleans. 

CUSHING, FRANK HAMILTON. 1974. 
Zuni breadstuff. Museum of the 
American Indian, New York. 

DAY, CHRISTOPHER. 1973. The Jacaltec 
Language. Language Science 
Monographs, Vol. 12. Indiana 
University, Bloomington. 



FRIAR 



Yucatan Before and 
. Dover Publications, 



New York 



ERICKSON 



ERIN YOUNGER. 1979. Guatemalan 
Costumes. The Heard Museum, 

Phoenix. 

fATEMALA. DIRECCI6N GENERAL 



182 



VENTURA 



Vol. 16, No.2 



DE ESTADISTICA. 1984. Estadfstica. 
Direccion General de Estadfstica, 
Guatemala, Guatemala. 
FORD, RICHARD I. 1985. Patterns of 
prehistoric food production in North 
America. Pp. 341-364 in Prehistoric food 
production in North America, Richard 
I. Ford (editor). Anthropological Papers, 
Museum of Anthropology, University of 



Michigan, No. 75, Ann Arbor. 



GALINAT, WA 



C. 



1985. 



Domestication and diffusion of maize. 
Pp. 245-278 in Prehistoric Food 
Production in North America, Richard 
I. Ford (editor). Anthropological Papers, 
Museum of Anthropology, University of 
Michigan, No. 75, Ann Arbor. 
GOSSEN, GARY H. 1974. Chamulas in the 



Wa 



Prospect Heights, Illinois. 



The 



Book. University of Oklahoma, 
Norman. 

HEISER, CHARLES B., JR. 1985. Some 
botanical considerations of the early 
domesticated plants north of Mexico. 
Pp. 57-72 in Prehistoric Food Production 
in North America (Richard 1. Ford, 



Museum of Anthropology, University 



Ann 



HUGH-JONES, CHRISTINE. 1979a. From 
the Milk River. Cambridge University 
Press, Cambridge. 

HUGH-JONES, STEPHEN. 1979b. The 



University Press, Cambridge. 

KARTTUNEN, FRANCES. 1983. An 
Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl. 
University of Texas Press, Austin. 

KIDDLE, LAWRENCE B. 1948. The Spanish 
word jicara. Pp. 117-153 in Philological 
and Documentary Studies, Volume I. 
No. 4. Publication 11 of the Middle 
American Research Institute. Tulane 
University of Louisiana, New Orl ms. 

KING, FRANCES B. 1985. Early cultivated 
Curcurbits in eastern North America. 
Pp. 73-97 in Prehistoric Food Production 
in North America, Richard I. Ford 
(editor). Anthropological Papers, 



Michigan, No. 75, Ann 



ty 



LAFARGE, OLIVER and DOUGLAS 



BYERS. 1931. The Year Bearer's People. 
Tulane University, New Orleans. 
MCCLUNG DE TAPIA, EMILY. 1992. The 
origins of agriculture in Mesoamerica 



America 



Patty Jo Watson 



Wesley 



Smithsonian Institution Press, 
Washington, DC. 
MENZIE, ELEANOR. 1976. Hand carved 



Decorated 




ke 



editor). Anthropological Papers, OSBORNE 



Publishers, Santa Monica, California. 
MERIDA VASQUE/, CESAR JULIO. 1984. 

Huehuetenango. Centro Na'cional de 

Libros de Texto y Material "Jose de 

Pineda Ibarra," Guatemala. 
MONTEJO, VICTOR DIONICIO and 

WALLAC I KAUFMAN. 1984. El K.inil, 

Man of Lightning. Signal Books, 

Carrboro, North Carolina. 
MORALES HIDALGO, ITALO. 1978. Las 

jicarasdeS.m Bernardino. La lradi« ion 

Popular, no. 18. Centro de Estudios 

Folkloricos, Guatemala 

1982. Las jicaras de Rabinal, Ba|a 

Verapaz, Guatemala: elaboracion y uso 
La Tradicion Popular, no. 33. Centro de 
Estudios Folkloricos, Guatemala. 



\. >mi. in. 



I Yess 



Palm and the Pleiades. Cambridge RECINOS 



PENNINGTON, T. D. and JOSE 

SARUKHAN. 1968. Arboles Tropicales 
de Mexico. Instituto Nacional de 
Investigaciones Forestales, Mexico. 



SYLVANUS G. MORLEY 1950. Popol 
Vuh. University of Oklahoma Press, 
Norman. 

and DELIA GOETZ. 1953. The 

Annals of the Cakchiquels. University 
of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 

ROSS, KURT. 1984. Codex Mendoza. Liber, 
Freibourg. 

SAN I )S FROM, ALAN R. l991.Com Is Our 

Blood. University of Oklahoma Press, 

Norman. 
SIEBf RT, RUSSELJ. 1940 The Bignoniat <»a. 

of the Maya area. Pp 375-430 in Botany 

ol the Maya ai i. C arnegie Institute of 
Washington, Washington, DC. 
SIEGEL,M( >KRls 1 441. Religion in wester* 

Guatemala: a product of acculturation. 
American Anthropologist, 43:62-76. 
STANDLEY, PAUL C. and LOUIS 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



183 



O.WILLIAMS. 1974. Flora 



of 



Chicago. 



Guatemala. Pp. in Fieldiana: Botany, Vol. THOMPSON, J. ERIC. 1970. Maya History 



24. Field Museum of Natural History, 
Chicago. 



and Religion. University of Oklahoma 
Press, Norman. 



TEDLOCK, DENNIS. 1985. Popol Vuh. WATERS, FRANK. 1964. Book of the Hopi. 



Simon and Schuster, New York. 
THOMPSON, J. ERIC. 1930. Ethnology of 
the Maya of southern and central British 
Honduras. Publication 274, vol. XVII, 
no. 2. Field Museum of Natural History, 



The Viking Press, New York 



184 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol . 1 6, No .2 



BOOK REVIEWS 



Economic Botany Data Collection Standard. Frances E.M. Cook. Kew: Royal 
Botanic Gardens, 1995. £15.00 (paper). Pp. 146. ISBN 0-947643-71-0. 

Ethnobotanical literature, especially older publications, is rife with vague, un- 
informative statements like "This plant is used for fever," with no additional 
information given. Any newcomer to the field must be taught to gather more de- 
tailed and precise data. This book, published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, 
represents a call for standardizing information on the uses of plants, animals, fungi, 
and other organisms for a wide variety of purposes. Included are extensive tables 
listing the possible organisms, parts of organisms, materials, products, disease, 
poisons, etc. An example is included showing how one would report the uses of a 
particular organism using the standardized format suggested. 

I applaud the call for more detailed information in the ethnobiological litera- 
ture, and the discussion of what types of information are useful. However, the 
system suggested seems geared toward facilitation of entry of information into a 
computerized database for purposes of mass-screening. This is a laudable goal as 
far as it goes, but it is too rigid to allow recording of all pertinent information. The 
most interesting stories in the literature are instances which do not correspond to 
any standardized categories. Uses can cut across categories, or represent an anoma- 
lous use peculiar to one particular situation. The format in this book contains no 
information on processing techniques, nor on organisms used in combination with 
other species, nor on specific ecological factors affecting physiological effects (such 
as soil type influencing a plant's chemical makeup). 

The book's value appears to be in bridging the gap between fieldworkers and 
those performing mass-screenings. Fieldworkers need to know what types of in- 
formation would be useful to their laboratory colleagues, and make efforts to ensure 



1 data include this information. Sc 
mind that some of the information 




Herbarium 



Joseph 



University of Arizona 
Tucson, Arizona USA 85721 



Journal of Ethnobiology 



Winter 



CATEGORIES OF FAUNAL AND FLORAL ECONOMIC 
RESOURCES OF THE NATIVE COMMUNITIES OF THE 

PERUVIAN AMAZON IN 1993 



LESLIE A. BROWNRIGG 

Statistical Research Division, Bureau of the Census 

SRD Rm 3232, Washington, D.C. 20233 

ABSTRACT. — Categories derived from names for fauna and flora reported on thr 
First Census of the Indigenous Communities of the Peruvian Amazon in 1993 are 
discussed. Sources of variance and ambiguities, decisions made to prepare cod- 
ing categories for tabulation and statistical data, and methods used to reference 
local names for life forms to Latin binomial names are detailed. The words origi- 
nating in respondents' languages actually reported, the raw frequencies of re- 
ports for these terms, and their probable biological references are presented. Some 
alternative methods are recommended which may permit collection and process- 
ing of precise information by overcoming cultural and linguistic differences be- 
tween local respondents and Western sciences. 

RESUMEN. — Se discuten las categorias derivadas de los nombres para la fauna y 
la flora reportados en el Primer Censo de las Comunidades Indigenas del 
Amazonas Peruano en 1993. Se detallan las ambigiiedades y fuentes de variation, 
las decisiones tomadas para preparar categorias de codification para los datos 
estadisticos y la tabulation, y los metodos empleados para referir los nombres 
locales de formas de vida a nombres binarios en latin. Se presentan las palabras 
que fueron reportadas en las lenguas de las personas censadas, las frecuencias 
crudas de reportes de estos terminos, y sus probables referente biologicos. Se 
recomiendan algunos metodos alternativos que pueden permitir la recopilacion 
y procesamiento de information precisa superando las diferencias culturales y 
linguisticas entre las poblaciones locales censadas y las ciencias occidentales. 

RESUME.— Dans cette etude, nous examinons les categories associees aux noms 
de plantes et d'animaux rapportes dans le Premier Recensement des Communautes 
indigenes de l'Amazonie peruvienne de 1993. Nous decrivons les sources de varia- 
tion et d'ambiguite, les decisions prises relatives a la creation des categories 



donnees 



vernaculaires 



biologiques et les binomes latins. Nous presentons les mots tels que rapportes 
dans les langues des repondants, la frequence de ces mots et leurs referents 
biologiques probables. Nous proposons enfin des methodes alternatives qui 
devraient permettre d'ameliorer la cueillette et le traitement de l'information en 
surmontant les differences culturelles et linguistiques entre les repondants locaux 
et les sciences occidentales. 



186 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



INTRODUCTION 
The First Census of the Indigenous Communities of the Peruvian Amazon 



communities located in the South American 



economic 



methodological steps, some 



nes from answers to questions that elicited word lists from over a thousand 
linguistically and culturally diverse respondents. The census section on economic 
characteristics of the native community began with the general question, What 
activities do the families in the community pursue? {" L Cuales son las actividades a 
que se dedican lasfamilias de la comunidadT) Seven types of economic activity were 
pre-coded as the answers to this question: Agriculture, Fishing, Raising Livestock, 
Extraction, Gathering, Handicrafts, and Other (See Table 1). If Agriculture, "Col- 
lecting," or Hunting were reported then the respondent was asked to specify. The 
census form had answer lines for up to seven agricultural crops and, for each crop 
specified asked whether it was for subsistence, cash sale, or both subsistence and 

- form had lines for up to five answers for items "collected" and for ani- 



mals hunted 



imilarly open-ended, collected types of timber 



community? {" iQ 



material. The question, What varieties of timber 



name 



what type of wood or other material was predominant in the key com 



■beams 



material 



and how long the wood or other 



madera o materia predominate y el tiempo de duracion de vigas o largueros? ; tijerales ? 
i cumbreras ? i horcones ? i piso ? ...") 



COMMUNITIES 



PERUVIAN AMAZON 



The First Census of the Indigenous Communities was conducted in July 1993 
during the "ration of Peru's Ninth Census of Population and Fourth Census 

t ^7n^f Y ^ Natlonal Institute of Sta tistics and Information (Institute Nacional 

^Jadistica e Informal tea, abbreviated as INEI). The Peruvian Amazon was de- 

ined geographically by selected rural provinces and districts located in seven 

27o^2 T 6llT°^ deS f c lin0 ^^ UC ^ ^ LoS Libera tores Wari, 
!as hoZTJt wTT' 7? ^ Martin) - ^ area defined desce " ds ^st to 
com— i T 8 ° Ud f ° reSt ^ § rasslands ^ the Amazon floor. This first 
community-level census enumerated named settlements legally recognized or eli- 

CCNN^nnH^ ° n ^ ™ H ™^ u ™ties (Comunidad Natilas, abbreviated as 
CCNN) under Peruvian laws D.L. 20653 and D.L. 22175 

Native communities are corporations of members who bplnnc ^ „™ „f ^ <jl 
Amazonian Indian "ethnic eroum 



// 



acknowledged 



Native communities may own or claim land. Of the native communities enumer 
ated in this first census, about 64% renown th^r h^A u^i .;.i * .„ .,_ Jl 



another 



communities 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 187 



holding between one and 999 hectares and 17% reported they have no common 
territory. The mean size of land base reported was 5,267 hectares; holdings ranged 
from no land to a territory of over 100,000 hectares claimed by one untitled com- 
munity. The population size of settlements INEI coded as native communities in 
the simultaneous Ninth Census of Population and Housing ranged from nine per- 
sons to 998 (INEI 1993). INEI's preliminary estimate of the total population residing 
in enumerated native communities was 192,295 persons (INEI 1993). This figure, 
while interesting, should not be considered as the total population of Amazonian 
native peoples in Peru in 1993. Since this was a census, INEI sought to interview in 
all the native communities, however more native communities exist in the Peru- 
vian Amazon than were enumerated and native Amazonians live in other types of 
rural and urban settlements. 

This first census of native Amazonian communities faced cultural and lan- 
guage barriers between the respondents and census enumerators, between 
respondents and statisticians, and between statisticians and the primary custom- 
ers for information which were the native communities themselves. The designated 
respondent for the community report was the recognized political authority who 
reported for the families of the settlement as a whole. The communities enumer- 
ated included speakers of at least 40 highly differentiated languages in the Arawak, 
Caribe (Peba-Yaguan), Harakmbet, Jivaroan, Panoan, Quechua, Tacaman, 
Tucanoan, and Wititoan families of languages. The census form was in Spanish. 
INEI's field staff and native Amazonian witnesses whom I interviewed agreed 
that most of the census takers were hired in district capitals and conducted inter- 
views in Spanish, using translators if necessary. Although Amazonian 
ethnolinguistic groups in Peru use Spanish as a general language to interact with 
those who do not speak their language and about half the native communities 
reported their members spoke some Spanish, half reported that their members 
did not speak any Spanish. The native communities that reported their members 
spoke some Spanish included 37% where Spanish was the second language spo- 
ken, 2.5% where it was spoken in combination with two Amazonian languages, 
and just under 10%, mainly Cocama-Cocamilla or lowland Quichua communities, 
where Spanish was the first language. Most words transcribed on the forms were 
in the lexicon of the local Spanish which incorporates words and roots derived 
from Quechua and other New World native languages into its standard vocabu- 
lary. 

INEI collected 1,298 original community census reports from 1,175 unique 
native communities and 123 district neighborhoods of larger, more dispersed na- 
tive communities. Despite incomplete coverage of native communities, this census 
provides recent and comprehensive information about rural native Amazonian 
Indians in Peru. INEI is publishing results from this census in a series entitled 
Coleccion comunidades nativas. Numbers published by INEI will differ from the fre- 
quencies and percentages reported here from the preliminary data set. The tables 
published by INEI eliminate names of biological resources reported by a minority 
of the communities and group types of resources. I believe the biological resources 
reported in the "raw" information collected on census forms are intrinsically in- 
teresting for ethnobiology and ecological anthropology. 



188 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS 

Censuses and surveys apply methods to gather information from a large num- 
ber of respondents on the egalitarian assumption that any respondent can answer 
the questions posed. Respondents' answers are filtered and structured by ques- 
tionnaire designer* 



methodoloeists strive to use terms 



fined, precise responses appropriate for the statistical tables and analyses planned. 
The census method values brief, unambiguous responses from many people on 
the same subject matter. Statistical categories are routinely defined before census 
data are collected, often by "pre-coded" answers to "closed" questions developed 
through research in ethnosemantics (c/., Custred 1980). Information collected in a 



sam 



case of a census or a large, randomly selected survey sam] 
number of statistical tests can be applied. Patterns can be ma 



documented 



and 



Table 1. — Number of Native Communities Reporting the Economic Activities and 
Combinations with or without Agriculture. 



Economic CCNN Reporting Combined Not Combined Without this 

Activities Activity Activity with With Agriculture Activity 

Agriculture 



Agriculture 1281 NA NA 17 

Fishing 1137 1129 8 161 

Livestock 1127 1122 5 171 

Hunting 979 972 7 319 

Artisanal production 849 845 4 449 

Extraction [Timber] 800 [711] 799 1 498 

Collecting 547 542 5 751 

Other 208 207 1 1090 



Notes: CCNN stands for Comunidades Nativas. This table shows for each economic activity, 

how many of the 1,298 communities reported engaging in the activity or did not report the 
activity. 

Optimally, how what respondents say will be translated by coders, editors, 
and computer programmers into machine-language data sets is tested before the 
census or survey begins. Well established census methods require time, funding, 
and expertise that statistical agencies in developing countries lack. In the case of 
this census, INEI responded to scarcity with creativity. The data in Table 1, for 
example, is based on a question which defined seven economic activities that INEI 
designers predicted would be important among the families of native communi- 
ties and elicited specification of one "other" economic activity. INEI census 
methodologists conservatively allowed respondents to specify "other" answers to 
additional questions along with defined categories. INEI left some questions in 
this first census completely "open-ended" if INEI had no precedent for what an- 



Winter 1 996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 1 89 



might be given. These questionnaire 



defining 



completed forms 
From the Doint o 



multipl 



ms, especially considering the relatively small universe of cases. The 



ma 



communities. Their associations asked INEI to produce information useful for the 
native communities themselves. INEI requested help from the U.S. Census Bu- 
reau to design the processing and publication tables for this first census of native 
communities. I was selected to provide INEI with technical assistance. In Lima, I 
worked with INETs staff to solve processing problems and simultaneously train 
and advise INEI colleagues in methodological procedures. In the course of my 
technical assistance mission, I had the opportunity to examine the original forms 
and analyze the preliminary data set. I report as a participant interventionist in 
the creation of statistical categories from the words recorded on census forms that 
listed faunal and floral economic resources of native Amazonian communities. 



Manual coding. — Master coding lists were compiled from the answers to the open 
ended instructions, " — specify". The lists of agricultural crops, items collected, 
animals hunted, commercial timbers, materials used in house construction, and 
others not discussed here, remained open until clerks had hand-coded the forms 
and keying began. If clerks found a new word written on forms, it was brought to 
the attention of their supervisor. If the supervisor or INETs Amazonian consultant 
recognized the word as a synonym of another already on the master list, the su- 
pervisor updated the definition of a data element. If the word was found on only 
one or two forms, it was assigned to a data element group for "other. " If the word 
was found on several forms, it was assigned a numeric code and added to up- 
dated editions of the master code lists issued to clerks. 

The master list of biological resources for each economic activity eventually 
contained between 44 and 86 data elements. Each data element was a numeric key 
code defined by a single word or a set of words that coders regarded as synonyms. 
Tables 2-6 show the name or set of names that defined the more frequently re- 
ported data elements and percentage of cases respectively reporting each. Clerks 
wrote the numeric codes on the census forms and these codes were keyed. 

The number codes keyed reflected only the order in which new names ap- 
peared in the pile of census forms. Definitions existed on in-house data dictionaries 
annotated by hand and nowhere else. By contrast, for settlements, INEI used a 
hierarchial code which embedded the region, province, district, and name of each 
place, and for occupations, used a code issued by the United Nations. INEI's use 
of standardized codes for geography and occupation permitted data from this 
first census of native communities to be linked with Peru's 1993 census of popula- 



tion and housing. 



technical assistance to group data elements into 



from 



Amazon and its plan to publish tables. No 



190 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



numeric 



some 



hunting, and forestry. Constructing a coding scheme was necessary to design pro- 
cessing and develop tables. 

Coding Responses into Statistical Categories.— -The steps taken to reduce the number 



meanin 



data elements were more frequently named, 2) recognize and equate synonyms in 
different Amazonian languages and in Spanish, and 3) associate vernacular terms 
with biological references in order to group the biological resources along the lines 
of scientific taxonomy. I convened a team within INEI to make decisions about the 
evolving coding and processing design. The team included the supervisor of 
manual coding, the assigned computer programmer, an Amazonian consultant, a 



methodologist detailed to the Computing Center, and m 



runs using 



emerging 



Amazonian consultant, an INEI senior manager, and I recruited and met witr 

idvisory panel from several different ethnolinguistic groups studying in Lima 

The task of grouping raw data elements into more inclusive statistical catego- 

began after the manually coded forms had all been keved. The number o: 



Three 



«ies> nau to oe reduced in order to cross-tabulate by provinces a 
ethnic groups, by river basin, and so on, without an excess of em 



from the data elements that had resulted from ma 
ally written on census forms. 



Table 2.— Agricultural crops ranked by percent of enumerated native communities 
reporting agriculture (N=1281) and ranked as first croo 



mentioned, and first and second combined 



mentioned 



Rank by Percent Local name reported, Associated English 1st 2nd 1&2 
percent Name, Associated Latin Named Named Combined 
Genus and Species Rank Rank 



1 88.7 yuca cassava or manioc Manihot esculenta 1 2 1 

2 81.4 platanos,paranta,banano,guineo,seda 2 1 2 

1 i * r% * 



3 67.1 



Musa 



corn 



5 3 4 

4 47.5 arroz rice Oryza sativa 3 4 3 

5 21.1 mani peanuts Arachis hypogaea 9 

6 17.3 frijol, ucayali, porotos chongo "beans" 7 

Phaseolus vulgaris or P. lunatus or P. mungo 

7 14.3 cafe coffee Coffea arabica 4 . 5 

8 9.5 cacao chocolate Theobroma cacao 6 - 6 

9 7.6 camote sweet potato Ipomea batatas NA - NA 
10 7 - 5 sachapapa yam Dioscorea spp. 10 NA NA 

yfficinarum NA - NA 

NA 



11 7.2 



12 5 - 8 pina pineapple Ananas comosus NA - x „^ 

13 5.2 papaya papaya Carica papaya, C. stipulata, NA - NA 
C. monoica, C. boliviana 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 1 9 1 



The first criterion was frequency: a computerized count of native communi- 
ties which had reported each data element using the original keyed data set. Unique 
data elements specified by at least five communities were preserved for a research 
data set and those noted by fewer than five communities were targeted for col- 
lapse. Some of those frequencies are reported here in tables. 

The second criterion was to eliminate remaining synonyms and /or gather in- 
frequently reported names into some logical yet more general categories. Unique 
terms from Quechua and several different native Amazonian languages augmented 
what statisticians call respondent variance. The processing team within INEI spoke 
Spanish and two of us knew highland Quechua, which is related to languages 
spoken in seven percent of the native communities enumerated, and the Amazo- 
nian consultant was a native speaker of the Panoan language, Shipibo-Conibo, 
which was spoken in 11.2% of the communities enumerated. To determine the 
meaning of those words for biological resources that no one at INEI understood, I 
sought advice from experts field biologists and native Amazonians. The Amazo- 
nian native people who volunteered their assistance included 10 speakers of the 
Arahuan (or "Arawak") language, Ashaninka (formerly called "Campa"), which 
was spoken in 25% of the native communities enumerated; speakers of Jivaroan 
languages, seven of Aguaruna (spoken in 17.4%) and three of Achual (3.5%); four 
speakers of Peruvian lowland Quechuas, three additional Conibo-Shipibo, and 
one speaker of the Harakmbut language, Amarakaeri (spoken in .01% of the com- 
munities). The native Amazonians recognized additional synonyms and cognates. 

By the time I began meeting with the Amazonian volunteer consultants, I had 
associated a Latin binomial species name or higher order taxonomic group with 
most of the vernacular names to design test categories based on biological distri- 
butions and ethnographic reports (Brownrigg 1986, Emmons 1990, Encarnacion 
1983, Soukup 1988, Vasquez 1989, and Vallarejo). These associations were reviewed 
and expanded in consultations with Peruvian field biologists (see 
Acknowledgements) and in panel discussions about what fauna or flora each word 
named among native speakers of different Amazonian languages. They helped 
clarify what animal or plant the common names referenced, by supplying syn- 
onyms, answering questions I structured to eliminate some tentative identifications, 
elaborating descriptions, and matching names to plates and sketches shown to 
them. 

The third criterion set five percent of the enumerated communities as the mini- 
mum threshold for statistical categories to use in testing tabulation. Terms reported 
by fewer than five percent of the communities, while preserved on intermediate 
data sets, were grouped into some category where this minimum percentage of 
cases could be achieved. INEI adopted my suggestion to collect less frequently 
reported names into more general groupings based on biological similarities. 



FAUNAL AND FLORAL RESOURCES REPORTED 



Tables 2, 4, and 5 display the percent of native communities that specified the 
more frequently named fauna or flora. In headings of columns displaying per- 
centages, I state the denominator used. Denominators are either the preliminary 
universe of 1,298 forms or an eligible population from that universe, that is, the 



192 



BROWNRIGG 



Vol. 16, No.2 



Table 3. — Rank of varieties of woods by frequency reported used in house 



rank by frequency reported as comm 



Local Name Reported, Associated 
Latin Genus and Species 



Rank for 

House 

Construction 



Rank for 

Timber 

Exploitation 



pona (Socratea exorrhiza) 

huacapu (Minguartia punctata) 

despintana (Xylopia sp. or Duguettia sp.) — Annonaceae 

capirona (Capirona decorticans) 

yarina 

quinilla (Pouteria sp.) 
cedro cedar (Cedrela odorata) 
moena, moenilla, muenilla 

(laurel Ocotea sp. or Nectandra sp.)— Lauraceae 
tornillo (Cedrelinga catenaeformis) 

caoba mahogany (Swientenia macrophylla) or aguano 

(Huberodendron sp.) 
cumula (Virola sp.) 



1 

2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
50 
45 



47 

NA 



82 



10 
15 
18 
12 

NA 
21 

1 
2 



3 

4 



5 



TABLE 4.— Items collected by percent of communities 



Rank 



1 



2 
3 



4 

5 



6 



7 
8 



9 



Local Name 
Reported 



aguaje 



unguravi 
motelo iiesa/nusa 
tortuga de la tierra 



frutas en general 
pijuajo 



chonta 



sun 



chapaja 



caimito 



communities (N=1298). 



Percent of 

CCNN 



Percent of Associated English Name, Latin 



CCNN 



Reporting Enumerated 
Collecting (N=1298) 

(N=547) 



41.3 



26.1 
15 



12 
11.2 



10 



9.6 

7.7 



6.0 



17.4 



11 



6.3 



5 
4.6 



4.2 



4 



Genus and Species 



// 



// 



buruti or mauritia palm 
Mauritia flexuosa or M. vinifei 

Jessenia bataua or /. weberbaueri 

yellow-footed tortoise 

Geochelone denticulata or red- 
footed tortoise G. carbonaria 
fruits in general 

peach palm Guilielma(or Bactris) 

gasipaes or G. utilis 
a palm Bactris sp.? Euterpe sp.? 

Wettinia qunaria? 
grub" — see discussion 
palm leaves (Arecaceae) Scheelea 

cephalotes 
star apple Chrysophyllum cainito 



si 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



193 



TABLE 5. — Game specified by 5 percent or more of the communities reporting 
hunting (N=979) ranked by the percent of hunting communities reporting the 
game. 



Rank by Percent 
Percent (N=979) 



Local Names Reported 



Associated English Name, 
Latin Genus and Species 



1 



2 
3 
4 



5 
6 
7 
8 



9 



10 



56% 



48% 
47% 
33% 



29% 
23% 
19% 
15% 



9% 



7% 



sajino, saino, cerdo, kitaykiri collared peccary Tayassu tajacu 



venado, siwayro 

majaz, majas piciuw 
anuje, cutpe 



sachavaca, tapiro 
huangana 

mono negro 



deer Mazmna americana 
paca Agouti paca 

agouti Dasyprocta fuliginosa or D. 
variegate 

tapir Tapirus tcrretris 
white-lipped peccary Tayassu pecari 

brown capuchin monkey Cdms apdla 



armadillo, carachupi, kirquinco nine-banded armadillo Dasypus 

novencinctus giant armadillo 



pava de monte, paujil 



perdiz 



Priodontcs maxim us 

guan (bush or wild turkey Penelope 
purpurascen and /or curassow 
Crax mitu or Mitu salvini 

"dove" or tinamous Timamus tao 
and others 



TABLE 6. — Number of Native Communities Reported Selected Types of 
Livestock Raised and Animals Hunted. 



Livestock Raised CCNN Reporting 



Animals Hunted 



CCNN Reporting 



Cattle 

Pigs 

Turkeys 

Chickens 

Other livestock 



230 
446 
180 
1060 
242 



Deer and "Sachavaca" (Tapir) 
Both Peccaries 
"Pava de monte" (Guans) 
All other reports of birds 
All other reports of prey 



801 

779 

91 

161 
1162 



number of native communities which, having reported a particular activity, were 
asked to specify resource details. Tables 2 through 5 show the rank of each of the 



more 



Tables 2 through 6 associate the vernacular names of the more frequently re- 
ported fauna and flora written on census forms with probable English common 
names and Latin names; associations for less frequently reported biological taxa 
appear in the text. Associating a vernacular name with a Latin binomial for a par- 



Words 



economic resources in 



enumerators' respective folk classifications. The local Spanish 



Amazonian language 



// 



ethnotaxonomies" which 



than do formal scientific systematics. Some terms 



194 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



reported for faunal or floral resources in this census refer to several different spe- 
cies, varying by region. Some names are of intermediate or life form taxonomic 
rank (Berlin 1992:52-101, 135-139) referring to groups of animal or plant life forms 
which are formally classified in different orders, classes, genera, or species. These 
more inclusive terms cannot be associated with a single species. Some terms refer 



Amazon and another species in 



omit 



were not conventionally identified— no specimens were collected or observed 



determine what animal or plant the Amazonian 



recorded. 



and Peruvian census-takers had in mind 



Proxies ft 



3ecause each respondent named a limited number c 
h economic activity to characterize a whole comm 
named should be considered imoortant for at 1pa< 



community. The census did not ask respondents to specify the crops, commercial 
timbers, items collected, or animals hunted bv anv rriteHa ovrmt that ^r. c ,,c t*v. 



most predominant material 



communities 



lm 



logical resource can be interpreted as a proxy indicating its relative economic 
>ortance or use in this universe— cautioning, however, possible biases were 
introduced by cultural preferences or seasonal effects. Cultural preferences could 
account for the higher frequency rank of prized hunting prey over more quotidian 
fare. The seasonal effect may favor those economic biological resources salient in 
July 1993 rather than of other months or other years. "Seasonal effects" are a source 
of error well documented in consumer expenditure, business, and recreational 
survey research (Silberstein and Stuart 1991, 1992; Kemsley, Redpath, and Holmes 
1980). Ethnographic studies report that particular Amazonian communities culti- 
vate, gather, fish, and hunt different living resources at different seasons following 
an annual round. (See Meggers 1971:47-49, 58-62, 69-72, 79-81, 89-92, and 101-102 
and Levi-Strauss 1973; among others.) Long term studies of the hunting practices 
of particular Amazonian native communities reveal variations by season and from 
year to year as the societies respond to fluctuations in the availability of game by 
redirecting hunting to other species or other areas (see Vickers 1991; Hames and 

Vickers 1983; Meggers 1971, Mashinkash Chinkias and Awak Tentets 1986; among 
others). ° 

Another proxy for relative importance is the order in which respondents spon- 
taneously specified their biological resources. I tested the cumulative number of 
communities reporting each named biological resource in any order and the num- 
ber of communities that reported it first, second, or first or second combined and 
found highly significant correlations. For example, correlations for wood varieties 
were at .8843 for woods reported first and at .9564 for woods reported second. 

If ^""f ~^ gr ! CUltUre Was re P° rted by 98% of the enumerated communities 

inoT r u } alS ° desi S nated » their important economic activity. Over 

60 /o of the agricultural communities combined agriculture with raising livestock 
such as cattle, pigs, turkeys, and chickens, and/or with fishing, and/or with the 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 195 



production of artisanal goods. Fewer communities combined agriculture with col- 
lecting or hunting or extraction, or "other activities" such as operating river boats, 
making canoes, and milling rice. Table 1 reports these activities. Less than one 
percent of the communities reported their members worked in day labor for sur- 
rounding colonists. Subsistence activities dominated, although over half of the 
Amazonian native communities reported cash crop agriculture or commercial tim- 
ber sales in their mix of economic activities. 



Crops. The 1,281 native communities that reported agriculture collectively named 
crops that were identified as 44 initial data elements. Table 2 lists leading crops 
ranked by the percentage of communities practicing agriculture and ranked ac- 
cording to the number of communities which named the crop first, named it second, 
and named it first or second. 

It was no surprise to find yuca or cassava (Manihot esculent a) ranked first, plan- 
tains and bananas (Musa x paradisiaca and other Musaceae) ranked second, and 
maize (Zea mays) ranked third in a census of native communities or that these 
crops were primarily grown for subsistence. The agricultural crops listed on Table 
2 are familiar from previous ethnographic and agricultural studies from the Peru- 
peanuts (Arachis hypogaea), and "beans" (mainly 



Amazon. Yuca, maize 



of Amazonian 



plantains 



The rank of rice (Oryza sativa) confirms its contemporary importance and de- 
parts from earlier ethnographic and agronomic observations in native communities. 
Rice was fourth most often reported by the native communities practicing agricul- 
ture and third most often mentioned first. Several factors propelled a rapid 
expansion of rice production among native communities. Several Amazonian na- 
tive groups adapted rice into their traditional inventory of floodplain (play a) crops 
(Eakin et al. 1980; Toumon 1988; Bergman 1990:97; among others); others adopted 
upland rice cultivation techniques introduced by the riziculture colonists who have 
been migrating from the Peruvian Pacific coast since the 1960s The rank of rice in 
relation to traditional Amazonian crops may index native communities' participa- 
tion in the modem agricultural cash economy; most communities grew rice for 

subsistence and for sale. 

Two crops grown almost exclusively for cash, cafe (Coffea arabica) and cacao, 

the chocolate bean (Theobroma cacao), ranked seventh and eighth. Coffee ranked 
fourth as the crou that communities mentioned first, following yuca, plantains, 



communities 



Columbian domesticate 
it was mentioned and ei 



camotes 



batatas) and sachapapas ranked ninth and tenth respectively according to the count 
of communities reporting these crops. No community spontaneously mentioned 
the sweet potato first and sachapapas ranked tenth among the crops mentioned 
first. The term sachapapa means wild or fake potato in Quechua. The term 
sachapapa or "pseudo-potato" is used in the Amazon region to refer to the re- 
gional cultivated and wild potatoes and to other non-potato crops. Hawkes (1990) 
describes 'candidate' cultivated and wild potato species that grow in the Peruvian 



196 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



montana and Amazon floor. The best known 



name sachapapa can gloss Amazonian 



named moiske or tnoshaki by the Ashanika or Campa 



cocoyam 



refers a yam in the genus Dioscorea, such as D. trifida (name). 
i yams have little market value and ranked below crops prima- 
Other names for root crops reported were uncucha (a name for 
Xanthosoma sp.), papa morada (purple potato = Solarium sp.), 



may 



name 



communities enumerated specified these less frequently reported minor root and 
tuber crops. 

Among the crops reported by five percent or more of native communities are 
three others that served as a source either for cash or for subsistence food. Only 



community reported pinea 



comm 



Fruit trees stood out among 



communities (one to 60 communities) 



two 



palto, the avocado or alligator pear (Persea america or gratissuma), and pitayo or 



pijuap — peach palm 



Mandari 



erine (Citrus reticulata or a Citrus hybrid) were reported by 



communities 



nmon (lemon, Citrus lemon), toronja (grapefruit, Citrus paradisi), maracuyd (Passiflora 
quadrangular is), cocos (coconut, Cocos nucifera) and anowa, anona, or chirimoya: three 
names for the fruit, cherimoya (Annona cherimola or A diversifolia) . 

Achiote or bija, which is the red colorant dye and food flavoring, Bixa orellana, 
was reported by three percent of the communities. Combining achiote with the 
fruit trees listed above created an inclusive statistical category that totaled 12% of 
the agricultural communities. 

Other crops reported by less than one percent of the communities were the 
condiments aji or chile pepper (Capsicum sp.) and culandro or coriander (Coriandrum 
sativum) and the annual field vegetables including zapallo squash (probably 



ndia (melon, ( 
communities 
name for a side dish with a varietvof in 



ima 



salad greens or green vegetables generally. Non-food crops reported included 
algodon (cotton, Gossypium barbadensis) , tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and barbasco 

fish nni«nn (/ nurJinrnrtiup »i.'«n«.,\ r\ .. . 



coca) . 



One community reported coca leaf (Erythroxyl 



op identifications. In the discussions held at INEI, the agricultural crops reported 
five percent or more of the native communities were consensually associated 
th Spanish names that designate a botanical species or genus. The statistical 
iff (urban consumers) and the Amazonian native consultants (rural producers) 
ared a core vocabulary for food crops. Differences in the appearance, agronomic 
cookmg characteristics, or taste of agricultural crops inspire a profusion of pri- 



Winter 1 996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 1 97 



mary terms for varieties in Peru, as elsewhere. The manual coding staff had grouped 
names for bananas (banano, guineo, seda) and plantains (pldtanos, paranta) into a 
single data element which can be considered as crops in the Musa genus. Simi- 
larly, the clerks had coded asfrijoles the regional names ucayali, porotos, and chongo 
which may be varieties of the common bean or introduced mung beans (Phaseolus 
mungo) or a Vigna species. Additional names for "beans" recognized during the 
recoding were chivango, chuvi, and hundia. These may be popping beans or nutias 
(Phaseolus chuvis—see National Research Council 1989), rather than common beans 
or mung beans. Additional names for beans and reports of Lima beans were gath- 
ered into a single coding category which is best interpreted as "beans" of some 
Phaseolus species. 

The botanic species of the more common, commercial food crops of Peru are 
known, well researched, and deposited in germ plasm banks (See on-line Harvard 
University's Gray Herbarium Index of New World Plants or Purdue University's 
New Crops at the World Wide Web site, http://newcrop.hort.perdue.edu). Sev- 
eral of the crops reported less frequently in this census are not well researched or 
are not firmly identified botanically. Three crops reported by less than one percent 
of the communities were not identified — humbilla, tongarina, and cantrini. Botani- 
cal associations for three other crop names, each also reported by less than one 
percent of the communities, are tentative. Is huistina Sechium edule? Is cocona 
Solatium topirol Is pepino the melon pear, Solatium muricatum (syn. Solatium 
variegatum and Solarium guatemalenses), or the sweet cucumber, Cucumis sativus or 
Cyclanthera pedada? These elusive crops reported by very few communities were 
relegated to an amorphous "other" category 



Timber and house materials. — A total of 711 native communities 
ploit at least one kind of timber and 888 communities indicated 



communities named at least one typ 



of wood used as a house material or exploited commercially. A single code list was 
compiled from responses to the requests to specify that gave respondents up to 27 
chances to name timber. Consequently, 86 terms for varieties of wood exploited 
commercially or house construction materials were compiled from respondents, a 
longer list of biological resources than for the more prevalent economic activities. 
Cedar (cedro), laurel (tornillo), and the mahoganies (caoba and aguano) are sold 
as logs for export and used to manufacture fine furniture (Peru. Ministerio de 
Agricultura, 1992). According to this first census, these highest value woods of the 
Peruvian lumber industry are the focus of commercial lumbering activities in na- 



Amazonian communities 



commerci 



materials used in the construction 



housing 



among varieties of wood exploited as tim 



ber. Of the 711 communities engaged in commercial lumbering, 585 (82%) repoi 
they exploit cedar. Cedar was the variety of wood named first by 292 of it 
communities and cedar was nearly five times more often mentioned first than 
other tvDe of wood. This indicates either cedar's importance for commercial 



198 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



material 



component by less than one percent of the communities 



• _ * 



communities 



comm 



among varieties of timber exploited. Pona is a wild palm with a thick, dense, woody 
pith. Only three communities mentioned pona first and three others mentioned it 
second when they listed varieties of commercial timbers. However, of the 888 com- 
munities which specified the material most predominant used to construct house 
walls, 593 communities (or 66%) named pona. Of the 709 communities which speci- 
fied a flooring material, 579 or 81% named pona. Pona therefore ranked overall as 
the most predominant wood in native house construction and was the only wood 
used for construction which ranked among those top 12 commercial varieties which 
five percent or more of the communities enumerated had specified. 

The varieties of wood that ranked highest as house construction materials 
generally had low ranks as commercial timber. Table 3 displavs the inverse rela- 



ma 



compared to timbers exploited commercially. For house construction, plant re- 
sources other than timber are important, including materials such as palm fronds 
or leaves, carta brava (which usually refers to one of the false bamboos), and shapajo 
(see Collecting, below). Of the 1032 communities which specified the material pre- 
dominant in the roofs of houses, 38% reported palm fronds, 11% reported shapajo, 
and 7.5% reported leaves in general. Shapajo (variant names: shapaja, chapaja) is 
Scheelea cephalotes in the palm family. 

Identification of timber woods and building materials. Finding an English 
common name, Latin name, or a plant family to associate with the vernacular 
names reported for timber woods and building materials was more difficult than 
associating the crops and hunting prey. Neither INEI staff nor the native language 
consultants could identify many of the timber names. I consulted experts who 
suggested Latin names usually associated with vernacular names for the most 
commercially important woods. The professional foresters, forestry officials, and 
field botanists whom I consulted associated less than half the woods reported used 
in house beams or struts with scientifically known family, genus, or species. For- 
estry officials expressed interest in what tropical hardwoods, unknown to them, 
the communities reported endured for decades. 

Many more names for timber turned out to be highly generalized folk taxa 
covering a large number (100s) of species in one or two families than the relatively 
more particular names for living resources of the other economic activities. For 
example, moena and its cognates, moenilla and muenilla refer to laurels. The pub- 
lished literature equating vernacular names for South American woody plants with 
Latin binomials is often contradictory, or perhaps accurate for usage in one loca- 
tion but not elsewhere. (Compare Mahecha-Vega and Echeverri-Restrepo 1983 for 
Colombia, Acosta-Solis 1971 for Ecuador, and Gentry 1988 or Institute Geovrdfico 
Nacional 1989:31 2-31 4."> * J 



Collecting.— Respondents from 42.3% (547) of the enumerated native communities 
reported that "collecting" (recoleccion) is an economic activity; all but five of these 
communities also reported agriculture. Over half the native communities (57.7%) 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 199 



did not collect and did not report any items collected. I translate " recoleccion" here 
as "collecting" to avoid the connotations of "gathering" and "foraging" (Hutterer 
1982) as a serendipitous search for food among wild life forms. Judging from the 
evidence of their replies, native Amazonian respondents interpreted the activity 



'eccion to mean harvesting or picking. More 
from orchards or cultivated mixed eardens v> 



Almost 



// 



"picked" or captured by hand. 



recoleccion" is 



The coding clerks compiled names 
ode, frutas en general ("fruits in gene 



forms. "Fruits in general" and three 



items were reported by five percent or more of the enumerated native communi- 
ties: aguaje, unguravi, and motelo. Ten categories of collected items were reported 



communities that reported collecting. The 



items 



// 



Harvested food plants. Aguaje is known in English as buruti or mauritia palm. Aguaje 
fruit figures as a leading non-timber forest product exported from the Peruvian 
Amazon, especially from Loreto and San Martin (Ministerio de Agricultura 1992:49, 
Table No. 30). Aguaje was reported as an item collected by 41.3% of the communi- 
ties that reported collecting. Unguravi was reported collected by 26.1% of the 
communities. The pulp and oil pressed from unguravi fruit are foods. 

Harvested plant products collected by more than five percent of the commu- 
nities that collected, but less than five percent of the universe of enumerated 
communities were pijuajo, chonta, chapaja, caimito, and uvillas. Pijuajo was reported 
collected" by 11 .2% of the communities that collected. Pijuajo is the Peruvian name 
for the peach palm, Guilielma (or Bactris) gasipaes or Guilielma utilis. What 10% of 
collecting communities intended by chonta is not clear. In the Peruvian Amazon, 
meanings for chonta include a dense woody material and the fruits and edible 
heart of palms in the Bactris /Guilielma or Euterpe genera, Wettinia qunaria, and 
several other trees. In the northwest Amazon, the peach palm is occasionally called 
chonta duro (Shultes and Raffauf 1990:351) and Guilielma chontaduro is an alterna- 
tive name for the peach palm (National Academy of Sciences 1975:73). 

Pijuajo (peach palm) was reported collected by 61 communities and as an ag- 
ricultural crop by 15 others. Ten other plant products were reported "collected 
from species that are considered domesticated or cultivated in various sources 
and situations. These include pan de drbol or pandisho—m English, breadfruit 
Artocarpus altilis; mango (Mangifera indica); sapota, the white sapote or mamey zapote 
(Calocarpum sapota or Matisia sp.?); uvos or taperiba, the mombin fruit (Spondias 
momhin or possibly Spondias cytherea); uvillas, which may be either "grapes 
Pourouma cecropiaefolia or the goldenberry Physalis peruviana; caimito (the star apple, 
Chrysophyllum cainito); and almendras (almonds, Caryocar sp.). The names guaba, 
guava, and guayaba are usually regarded as synonyms for Psidium guajava, how- 
ever guaba or guava names the pod fruit of some Mimosacae in the Inga genus, usually 
Ingafeuillei or Inga edulis, which is called the ice cream bean in English (National 
Research Council 1989). Dale (Calathea allouia), called dali or leren in English, was 



// 



// 



200 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



reported collected in the Peruvian Amazon although it is a crop in 
(see Leren, http://newcrops.hort.perdue.edu/). 



names supplied for "collected 



// 



items 



status, some clearly "wild" like crabs and some clearly domesticated lik< 
dfruit and mango trees. Tree products are collected in the Peruvian Ama 



zon from a number of different species, some domesticated, some only "cultivated" 
or "protected," and some, definitely wild. (Cf., Berlin 1976:392). Plants that yield 
functionally equivalent food or other economically useful material may have the 
same name, their common use justifying the label. The name almendra (almonds) 
applies to nuts from wild and cultivated Caryocar species in the Peruvian Amazon 
(Patino 1971; National Academy of Sciences 1975:100-103; Prance and da Silva 1973). 
The name almendra is commonly used in Peru for the nut elsewhere called 



"cast ana" 



communities in Madre 



// 



almendra" may harvest 



reporting of pijuano and other domesticated trees as agricultural 
ted items prompts the comment that domesticated trees (and 



m 



// 



wild" in ethnographic and/ 



assumptions made about the status of these ciods from 



nature of their harvesting. The domesticated status of many Neotropical tree crops 
has been further clouded by their capacity to survive in feral form and "seed" the 
forest fallow at sites where a village and gardens were abandoned (Denevan 
1974:105; Brownrigg 1986:77-84, 110-114; among others). I hope that botanical re- 
search on the hypothesis of the "anthropogenic forest" (or "semi-silvaculture", 
Brownrigg 1986: 113-114) will clarify which domesticated tree crops can survive 
as feral in the Amazon region and which domesticated trees are planted for har- 
vesting long after gardens are otherwise in forest fallow. In the meantime, the 
assumption that "gathered" items are "wild" or "feral" should be suspended. 



in 



material 



palm's fronds are widely used to thatch roofs and make walls. ( 
above, may refer to the woody palm piths or tropical hardwoods 
make lances, arrow shafts, bows, and other hand-made artifacts 



Animals and animal products collected. The tortoise and "grubs" were the leading 
animals reported collected. A total of 15% of the 547 collecting communities re- 
ported the land tortoise, naming it in Spanish as motelo (which means "motel" and 
is a joke name) and tortuga de la tierra (land turtle) and as nesa and nusa. The land 



hunting 



named as game bv about three percent of the communi 



hunted, 8.8% of the native communities enumerated rep( 
source, which in the Peruvian Amazon is either the y 
Geochelone denticulata, or the closely related red-footed tortoi 
(Alderton 1988). Five times more communities characteri 
as "collecting" than hunting. This may reflect a perception 
moving animal is not as purposeful as hunting and may 
tween "collecting" and hunting activities. A distinction m 



may be captured 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 201 



during forays primarily intended for collecting leaves or fruits or during orga- 
nized hunting expeditions. Strikingly similar ethnographic accounts describe how 
Shipibo, Sharanahua, and Siona-Secoya, and elsewhere in the Amazon, Kayapo, 
hunters capture and carry home alive tortoises they happen to find, disable their 
leg tendons, and keep tortoises alive to stock house pantries (Bergman 1990:139; 
Siskind 1973; Vickers 1991:74; Meggers 1971:72). 

Among the fauna and faunal products less frequently collected were turtles or 
their eggs: 20 communities reported they collect taricaya, the yellow-spotted 
Amazon river turtle Podocnemnis unifilis) or huevos de taricaya, its eggs; five com- 
munities reported collecting huevos chorapa (the eggs of the Arrau river turtle, 
Podocnemis expansa, or another of the Pelomedusidae family of Amazonian river 
turtles) and one community collected the mata mata (Chelys fimbriatus) turtle. 

The item suri which was reported by 9.6% of the communities reporting col- 
lecting or about four percent of the enumerated native communities illustrates the 
problem of vernacular names. Based on advice from INEI's native Amazonian 
consultant, INEI coders defined suri as "gusano" which means larval worm or 
grub in Spanish and suggests insect larvae. Ethnographic reports on insects con- 
sumed by Amazonian native groups are scattered and brief, as is the case for tropical 
forest peoples generally (Hutterer 1982). Descriptions note Peruvian Amazonian 
groups collect, tend, and cull preferred larvae, activities which could be viewed as 
microlivestock production with protected wild species. The "Jivaro" regard the 
larvae of the chonta palm beetle as a delicacy; its flavor "has been compared to 
pork sausage spiced with nutmeg" (Meggers 1971:61). Achual spot and cut down 
diseased palms, haul sections with larval nests to housesites, and scoop grubs 
from the felled trunks to provide a rich, valued, and convenient source of protein 
meat. Ashaninka raised larvae of a maize pest in cribs on shucked corn cobs 

(Denevan in:Lyons 1974:105). 

I reserve doubt that suri is insect larvae. It was described as aquatic. The Ecua- 
dorian Shuar group characins, minnows, catfish, and their relatives into the 
ethnozoological "order" tsarar, one variety of which is called tsuri in Shuar, the 
Jivaroan language that commingles and adjoins the Achual speakers of Peru. Ec- 
uadorian Shuar authors Mashinkiash Chinkias and Awak Tentets (1986) describe 
the "order" tsarar with the Quechua word, caracha. The Quechua word caracha 
is applied to crust, scab, itch, mange, even llama lice (Fernandez de Cordova 1982). 
During the prime fishing season, when the forest flowers and the headwaters riv- 
ers are full, carachas are "found in great numbers, up to 20-30 on one rock... and 
are picked up by hand" [they are smaller fish ("sardina" in Spanish) that]... "live 
in rivers attached to rocks by a sucker in its mouth" (Mashinkash Chinkias and 
Awak Tentets 1986). This description fits the Loricariidae order of catfish, which 
have plate-like suctorial lips located under their heads (Herald 1961:122-123). The 
fish (Ancistrus sp.), named "raspa balsa" in Spanish for its characteristic behavior 
of adhering to logs floating in rivers as well as to rocks (Patzelt 1979), is an ex- 
ample of this order. A small fish caught by hand fits the profile of items collected 
and descriptions, however, suri might also be leeches, snails, egg cases, or eggs of 
waterbirds. In Quechua, suri names the South American ostrich or rhea (Pterocnemia 
pennata) found in the Peruvian high altitude (Parker et al. 1982:29) to about 3000 
meters above sea level but not in the Peruvian Amazon (Gentry 1990:252-269, 



202 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



American m 



with 



item to collect, the item 



might be the bird's eggs, as seen in the communities 



turtles bv the name 



animals or animal products reported collected by fewer than 
communities are non-vertebrates. Names for the microfauna 



knowl 



The 



include terrestrial or freshwater snails, mollusks, and bi-valves {congompe, caracoles 
and churos), crabs, and honey. The name "shell" (caracol) may refer to shell mate 
rial used to manufacture ornaments and tools or to the many terrestrial anc 
freshwater snails and mollusks consumed as food. Churos is a general Peruviar 
name for bivalve mollusks of a certain shape, applied to different species accord 
ing to regional Spanish dialect. The name also applies to a particular oversizec 
snail and a grape-like fruit. Despite the mythical importance of honey in Amazo 
nian cultures, only one community enumerated reported collecting honey. Thi; 



may be a "seasonal effect" 



reserved 



ceremonies 



A sufficiently large and representative portion of the universe of this census 



examination 



in the diet of Amazonian Peruvian communities. If r< 

insect larvae and included, a total of 21.7% of the collecting communities reported 
some non-vertebrates or non-vertebrate products; if reports of suri are excluded, 
then 12% of the collecting communities reported some non-vertebrate or non- 
vertebrate product. Although the consumption of insects and non-vertebrates not 
regarded as "food" in Western cultures has been characterized as an adaptive 
responses to (macro) game depletion (Gross 1975; Hames and Vickers 1983; among 
others), insects and non-vertebrates constitute a large gross biomass and are an 
:ellent source of protein available in abundant variety in the Amazon basin and 
tropical forests generally (Hutterer 1982). Native Amazonian peoples' regard 

for non-vertebrate micro-game was apparent in the frequency of reports in this 
census. 



in 



Fishing. 



inis census did not request communities to specify what kind of fish 
they caught although 88% of the communities reported they fished. This omission 
of detail about fish leaves a major gap in the inventory of biological resources 
used by native Amazonian communities compiled in this census. Nonetheless, 
among fauna reported hunted, communities reported the large fish, zungaro 
(Trychomiterus sp.), which is speared and is the prey of organized expeditions. 

Hunting.— Nine hundred and seventy nine (979) native communities hunted, which 
is 74% of the universe enumerated; seven of the hunting communities did not 
practice agriculture. The names of 59 animals hunted and a 60th "other" category 
were compiled during manual coding. After clarification of synonyms and asso- 
ciation with biological taxa, the list was found to refer to 54 species or groups of 
macrofauna. Names for the wild macrofauna can be fairlv mnfidpntlv associated 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 203 



with one species if there is only one species in its genus or class in the Peruvian 
Amazon. This is true for the capvbara, ronsoco. More usually, there are two or mnrp 



more common 



game animals 



communities 



were the collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), deer (Mazanm mnericana), paca (Agouti 
paca), agouti (Dasyprocta fuliginosa or D. variegata), tapir (Tapirus terrestris), white- 
lipped peccary (Tayassu peccari), "black monkey", armadillo (Dasyprus 
novemcinctus) , the "bush turkey," and the "dove," (See Table 5). Eight of the ten are 
larger mammals. 



Mammals. Collared peccary was prey reported by 56% of the communities that 
reported hunting (which is 42% of the communities enumerated) with the Span- 
ish word sajino or saino, which means wild boar, and a Spanish word for pig, cerdo. 
The term kitaykiri, reported by one community, may be a mistranscription of the 
Ashaninka name for collared peccary, kitdiriki (Weiss 1969:605). 48% of the hunt- 
ing communities reported hunting deer, primarily using the Spanish name, venado. 

The large rodents, pacas and agoutis, were respectively the third and fourth 
most frequently specified game. According to Emmons, pacas are "the most prized 
Neotropical game animal for their tender, veal-like meat" (1990:205). The names 
used to report the paca in the Peruvian Amazon were majaz or majas and picuro. 
None of the volunteer Amazonian native language consultants recognized the term 
paca and they identified photographs of both pacas and pacarinas (literally "little 
paca" which usually refers to juvenile pacas which have a distinctive spotted fawn 
and white pelage and are highly prized for their meat), as majaz. A third of the 
hunting communities reported agouti game using either the name afiuje or cutpe. 
Of the hunting communities, 23% specified huangana: the consistent and exclusive 
name used to report the white-lipped peccary, Tayassu pecari. 

The "black monkey" (mono negro) was reported as game by 19% of the com- 
munities that hunt. The native Amazonians I consulted identified photographs of 
the brown capuchin or cebus monkey as what they call the "black monkey" Alter- 
native candidates include the woolly monkey and the black howler, which are 
larger and darker in pelage and have been ethnographically reported as preferred 
primate game, but are increasingly rare. The 189 reports were sufficient to pre- 
serve "black monkey" as a separate category in the data. 

"Mono" is a Spanish general name for Neotropical primates, Cebidae and 
Callithricidae, and for some animals in different orders. By analogy to monkeys' 
appearance and habits, names for monkeys are extended to "monkey-like" arbo- 
real mammals. The speakers of Shipibo and Aguaruna I consulted provided the 
Spanish term "monos" (monkeys) to identify primates and also several marsupi- 
als, edentates, and procyonids that spend a lot of time in trees. For Aguaruna 
mammal taxonomy, Berlin and Patton (1979) suggested a higher order taxon of 
arboreal mammals includes primates and "similar" mammals. Their insight for 

Aguaruna could be tested in local Spanish. 

The kinkajou (Potus flavus) is an example of a non-primate called a monkey. 
The kinkajou was reported hunted by 23 communities in this first census by the 
names chosna, cuzumbo, cusumbo, and cusumbi — and there may be kinkajous in 



204 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



the count of monkeys, too. The panel of native Amazonians agreed with each other 
that the kinkajou is a "mono" (monkey). Their classification mirrors the 
ethnozoological taxonomy of the Aguaruna (Berlin 1976 and Berlin and Patton 
1979)— one of the ethnolinguistic groups censused and represented in the panel 
discussion— in grouping animals with distant biological relationships but similar 
traits. The kinkajou has the distinguishing sharp teeth of Carnivora and 
Procyonidae. However, the kinkajou lives in trees, is the size of several common 
South American monkeys, and has a long prehensile tail. Apparently these are 
sufficient similarities to assign the kinkajou to the folk classification of monkey. 

About 17% of the hunting communities reported names associated with at 
least one additional primate and these reports were grouped. Twenty communi- 
ties reported hunting choro (the common woollv monkev Lavothrix lazothricha): 



m 



Cebus capucinus), 34 reported satnari and six, huasa 



in monkey, Cebus albifrons, or the white-faced monkey 



names that may 



name 



m 



monkey, Ateles paniscus, and four reported pichico, a name applied to tamarins in 
the Callithricidae family. 

Armadillo was reported by 15% of the hunting communities. The term arma- 
dillo in Spanish (and English) and its synonyms carachupi ("sucking face") and 
kirquinco refer generally to the armadillo and to particular local armadillo spe- 
cies, depending on the group and regional usage. The nine-banded or common 

d armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) has the widest distribution in the 



Peruvian 



m 



mammals hunted by less than five percent of the hunting commu- 

soco = Hydrochaeris 



South American 



,„_ v — ., w . MHW » wrw v XA ^/ u ic ^uu u i American coan {i\usuu nuauu), 

seven reports of liebre or conejo de monte, the hare or rabbit (Sylvilagus brasiliensis); 
five of the ardilla, the Northern Amazonian twi ^,.^1 ^^,„,o ;~.i~>*,u4 e \ ™- 



Southern Amazonian 



red squirrel (S. spadiceus); "bear" and "fox" (see below); and 
Amazonian manatee (Manati amazonica or Trichechus inunouisL 



communities reported thev hunted 



m 



mammals have Spanish names composed with the term 



Anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla and 
ant bear. The tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) is called oso colmenero. Two names 
for the South American racoon (Procyon cancrivorus) are oso lavador (the bathing 
- and osito lavador (little bathing bear). The Amazonian laneuaee consultants 



knew of communities 



// 



indicated the large size "osos" attain, 



— "«**« ^«^ cii iu ii luujcueu me large size osos attain, 

the length of their claws, and how dangerous they are to hunters. Though which 

OSO Was slow fn rl^rifv n^r^^i^.^^ ;« n • . _j »♦ . . ^ T, * 



. . . in the animated discussion in ^ r ^^ .* 

hunting bears by Shipibo-Conibo from the low jungle well beyond the range of 
the spectacled bear served to rule it out in favor of the larger of the ant bears. Zorro 
(tox) presents the same difficulty of glosses. The tayra {Lira barbara) is sometimes 
known as a zorro negro or black fox; the zarigueua (Didelvhis marsuvialis) is known 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 205 



name 



venaticus, usually called the perro de monte or perro selvdtico (Emmons 1990). Even 



mals and it was legitimate 
"other" mammals. 



remained ambiguous, they were definitely 



Birds. Paujil and pava de monte and panguana and perdiz were the game birds most 
frequently specified as hunting prey The paujil and the "bush turkey" in the Peru- 
vian Amazon region refer to the guan (Penelope purpurascens), Salvin's curassow 
(Crax [Mitu] salvini), or another of the large birds (15-20 kilograms) in the Cracidae 
family of guans, currassows, or chachalacas. Studies of subsistence hunting 
throughout the Amazon concur that this family of birds contributes "the most 
avian biomass extracted by hunters in the Neotropics" (Silva and Strahl 1991:37). 
The 65 reports of paujil, 22 of pava de monte, four of pucacunga (Spix's guan, Penelope 
jacquacu) and of manacaraco (the variable chachalaca, Ortlalis mot mot) were merged 
into a single category 

The panguana, reported by nine communities, refers to one of the tinamous 
(Tinamidae, including Crypturellus undulatus and 10 other Peruvian species called 
tinamous in English). "Perdiz," reported hunted by 59 communities, refers to ter- 
restrial birds of several common species, most prominently Tinamus tao and other 
tinamous. Pigeons (Columba spp.) and true doves (Columbina spp.) fly under the 
vernacular name perdiz as well. "Perdiz" are hunted casually by children with sling- 
shots and during organized hunts. 

A quarter of the communities that hunt reported at least one game bird other 
than the larger Cracidae or "doves." Among the water game birds reported hunted 
by five percent or more communities were ducks and geese (Anatidae) — pato del 
monte and pato silvestre, herons (Ardeidae) — garza blanca (the white heron, 
Casmerodius albus) and garza cuca (the grey or white-necked heron, Ardea cocoi). 
Feral — or stray — domesticated Muscovy or tree ducks (Cairina moschata) were re- 
ported hunted as were wild whistling ducks (Dendrocygna bicolor, D. viduata, D. 
autumnalis), the masked duck (Oxyura dominica), teals and pintails {Anas sp.)- The 
Neotropical cormorant (Phalacrocorax olivaceus) and Brazilian cormorant 
(Phalacrocorax brasilensis) are associated with the vernacular names cushiri or 
qushuri and chiwia reported as prey Names for land game birds included "par- 
rots," from one of the 14 genera of Psittacidae of the Peruvian Amazon, guacamayo, 
macaw, low and others. The American darter (Anhinga anhinga) is likely the sharara 
that 10 communities reported hunting. Game birds reported by the general Span- 
ish name trompedero or by Achual communities as chiwia are most likely birds in 
the family Psophiidae. The names of 44 additional birds reported hunted were 
collapsed in the data element aves en general "birds in general." 

Reptiles. Reptiles were reported by about 14 percent of the communities that hunted. 
With the exception of lagarto bianco (the smaller caiman, Caiman sclerops), reptiles 
were reported using a local Spanish term for the order, kiloneos, or the names of the 
particular tortoise or turtle, as discussed above. 

Mishasho was reported hunted by 15 communities. In Quechua, this word has 
several meanings, including "rotten" and a talisman found inside animals and 
may refer to carrion left by felines. No names for sloths, snakes or felines were 



206 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



s are prohibited as food among the "Jivaro" (Meggers 1971) a 

1991:71) and the Achual and Shuar Jivaroan speakers prohi 

In the final data set, which can be ordered from INEI, it will 

!w faunal prey by particular ethnolineuistic eroiros and test e 



Kensinger 



1978), resource inventories, and other theories. 

The mammals most frequently specified hunted are larger macrofauna. Ac- 
cording to Emmons (1990), a full grown Brazilian tapir weighs 227-250 kg, each 
deer weighs 24-48kg, an adult collared peccary weighs 17-30 kg, and an adult 
huangana or white-lipped peccary weighs 25-40 kg. The collared peccary (ranked 



run 



ing expedition that encounters a herd of peccaries can yield meat on a par with 
better than kills of larger, solitary animals like the tapir. For example, a Shipi 
hunting party reported by Bergman killed 22 white-liooed Deccaries in a lart 



The 



minutes and produced 472 kg of meat (1990:118-119). The giant arma- 
s up to 30 kg and the common, or nine-ringed, armadillo weighs 2.7 to 



brown capuchin monkey weighs 1.7 to 4.5 kg. The agouti is smaller than othe 
mammals hunted by five percent or more of enumerated communities, but be 
cause it forages in groups and invades gardens, it is hunted efficiently. 

Table 6 suggests the relative contribution and variety of mammal and birc 
meat obtained by hunting compared to raising livestock. More native communi 
ties reported they raised livestock than reported hunting (See Table 1). About hal 
the communities that raised cattle, raised pigs, or raised both were concentratec 
among the "Campa" (Ashanika) who have been raising European livestock since 
colonial times. Only 230 Amazonian native communities reported thev raise cattle 



( 



// 



they hunted the two largest game animals, deer, and/ 

communities that reported raising domestic 



can be contrasted with the 779 that reported hunting one or both peccaries-the 
wild cerdo pig and huangana. However, almost twice as many communities (180) 
reported they raise turkeys than the 91 that reported hunting a wild avian coun- 
terpart in the Cracidae. More than seven times as many communities (1060) raised 



ame 
communities reported any domesticated 



mals other than chickens, turkeys, pigs, cattle, or pigs, and these were mainly ducks, 
while the 979 hunting communities gave 1,162 reports of orev other than the most 



ame 



SUMMARY 

The 44 agricultural crops, 10 harvested cultivars, and five types of livestock 
specified is an impressive list of domesticated biological resources, however, the 
Amazonian native communities specified overall far more categories of wild bio- 
logical resources than domesticated. The word lists collected in this census 
documented native knowledge of economic resources naturally occurring in their 
environment that are unknown, unrecognized, or unsuspected by other Peruvi- 
ans, especially in the profusion of names for lumber and housing timbers. 



Winter 1 996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 207 



ethnograph 



number of biological resources named in this census corroborates 



Amazonians 



Amazon secure their subsistence. Ethnograph 



occasional use of individual domesticated, cultivated, and wild species for food 
and other necessities from a large inventory, rather than specializing, super-ex- 
ploiting, or relying on a limited spectrum of living resources. This species and 
space extensive strategy can be contrasted with a set of equally indigenous, inten- 
sive strategies which concentrate domesticated or wild biological resources in built 
environments (Brownrigg 1986:93-130, 203-236). The strategy of light use from a 
large inventory of living resources found over a large territory through activities 
variously called foraging, hunting, or gathering is by no means universal among 
native Amazonians, nor is it the exclusive economic strategy of any Peruvian 
Amazonian native community reporting in this first census. The option to exer- 
cise the extensive strategy of light use of a large inventory of biological resource is 
increasingly constrained as native settlements and their growing populations be- 
come more sedentary to take advantage of new infrastructure and services, as 
national colonists and corporate extraction industries withdraw resource areas 
from use and access by native Amazonians, and as the habitat of the biological 
resources is destroyed. 



RECOMMENDATIONS 



For the short term, it would be useful to validate the names which the native 
people of the Peruvian Amazonian specified as the biological resources in their 
agricultural, collecting, hunting, commercial lumbering, and house construction 
activities in other research, surveys, and censuses in the region. From the perspec- 
tive of census and survey methods, a universe of over a thousand respondents 
providing answers to open-ended questions is sufficiently large to establish re- 
sponse variations. Salient biological resources were identified by principal and 
variant names among culturally diverse native peoples. The more frequently re- 
ported names are useful for designing answer values and for writing questions 
likely to be understood. The less frequently reported names can serve to formu- 
late probes or explanations for respondents and enumerators. By applying the 
same categories developed for this first census to pre-code answers in future cen- 
suses, surveys, and other research in the Peruvian Amazon, the importance and 
use of these categories can be tested. Use of the names and categories from this 
census in research in a settlement or ethnolinguistic group would permit researchers 
to compare local resources with native communities throughout the Peruvian 
Amazon region. Use of the same categories in later censuses would allow com- 
parison to the baseline of information about the living economic resources of native 
communities built in this 1993 census. Use of the vocabulary and categories in 
systematic surveys of households or communities would allow for collection of 
the same or even more detailed information. In ethnobiological research, the spe- 
cies or set of species to which the local names refer could be detailed in particular 
ethnolinguistic and geographical contexts and positively identified with species. 



208 



BROWNRIGG Vol. 16, No.2 



Over the long term, I recommend departing from verbal reports to research 
and test standardized methods to collect and process information about biological 
resources from local people and scientific field observers alike. Research and de- 
velopment of 1) pre-coded visual aides illustrating pre-identified species and 2) 
standardized statistical categories for the economically important biological spe- 
cies address methodological problems which this census confronted. The same 
problems affect biological and ethnobiological research field surveys that attempt 
to quantify observations yet do not produce data sets suitable for sophisticated 
statistical analyses. 



Visual aides. 

common reference. Some accurate and 



same 



are the topic ot the research could help overcome the problems of synonyms, am- 
biguous associations between vernacular names and Linnean taxa, subjective or 
idiosyncratic identifications, ad-hoc coding schemes (see Heyer et al. 1994; Scott 
1994), and communication with those respondents who are not familiar with the 
Spanish language yet know a great deal about indigenous biological resources. 
Two recent experiments tested promising methods (Phillips and Gentry 1993; Benz 
et al. 1994). Benz and his colleagues showed their informants plants in freshly 
pressed state. Displaying the same plant specimen to several informants served to 
"pre-code" and pre-identify botanical names. Fresh pressed plants, however, are 
too expensive and fragile to use in national censuses or random surveys of enough 
people to produce statistically reliable conclusions concerning distributions in 
populations. The native language consultants who contributed to this research 
could supply at least one name for accurate sketches and photographs of the Neo- 
tropical animals I showed them. This experience suggests that it may be possible 
to develop inexpensive, printed visual aides with biologically accurate and 



names to identitv ima 



increas 



ROM 



is for 
from 



informa 



must 



for ethnobiological and scientific knowledge of the living resources to maximize 
computer tools and progress beyond inventory (cf., Scott 1994) and highly local- 
ized studies of populations. Variables that are precise, standardized, well defined, 
and documented are needed to build information systems capable of demonstrat- 
ing distributions and testing effects (cf., Heyer et al. 1994). At a minimum, a 
standardized code to substitute for and reference species names is required. Latin 
binomial names, as alphanumeric strings, can be stored in computer data bases 
with other texts and images, but must be truncated to serve as variable names or 
values. Consistent eight place codes for species with initial digits reserved for class 

meet common requirements for machine languages and pro- 



grams. These codes could provide links— currently missing— between 



and descriptive information about biological resources alreadv residing in 



surveys 



information from 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



209 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



This work was facilitated and advised by INEI officials including Ramon de la 
Cruz Yupanqui, Ranan Quispe, Cherly Ore Ramirez, Clarissa Sanchez, Norma 
Gutierrez, Boris Lopez, and Pablo Inga. Core participants in the coding and pro- 
cessing design were INEI staff Isabel Valladares, Berta Aconda, Olinda Yaringano, 
INEI's consultant, Juan Maldonado (a director of the Shipibo-Conibo Cultural 
Association), and the author. Officials of the Asociacion Interetnica de Dcsarrollo de 
la Selva Peruana provided advice and arranged for a panel of native Amazonian 
language consultants to meet with me. Native Amazonians studying computer 
science in Lima participated in this panel. These young volunteers understood the 
workings of their own cultures and languages and the difference between words 
and data. They are well positioned to bridge the gap between native cultures and 
statistical science in the future. Patricia Leon Melgar of the Fumiacion Peruana para 
la Conservation de la Naturaleza, Cesar del Carpio and Antonio Fuarto of the Centra 
de Datos para la Conservation, Antonio Morizaki Taura and his staff at the Institute 
National de Recursos Naturales suggested identifications for selected faunal or for- 
estry species. While I was preparing this paper, John Terbough of the Center for 
Tropical Conservation at Duke University clarified the usual identification of com- 
mon names for several birds in Peru. I opted for several Latin binominals cited in 
National Research Council 1989, Gentry 1990, Herald 1961, or Emmons 1990 rather 
than somewhat different expressions of Latin names popular among Latin Ameri- 
can biologists to refer to the same species. I thank William T. Vickers, Michael F. 
Brown, Michael J. Levin, Eduardo Arriaga, Judith Banister, Mathew Kramer, and 
this journal's editor, Eugene Hunn, and peer reviewers for reading earlier drafts 
and providing useful comments, suggestions, and encouragement. 



LITERATURE CITED 



ACOSTA-SOLIS, MISAEL. 1971. Los bosques 
del Ecuador y sus productos. Editorial 
Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador. 

ALDERTON, DAVID. 1988. Turtles and 
Tortoises of the World. Facts on File, 
New York. 

BENZ, BRUCE F. r FRANCISCO SANTANA 
M., ROSARIO PINEDA L., JUDITH 
CEVALLOS E., LUIS ROBLES H. 
and DOITILA DENIZ L. 1994. 
Characterization of mestizo plant use in 
the Sierra de Manantlan. Journal of 
Ethnobiology 14(1):23-41. Jalisco- 

Colima, Mexico. 

BERGMAN, ROLAND. 1990. Economia 
Amazonica. Centro de Antropologia y 
Aplicacidn Prdctica. Lima, Peru. 

BERLIN, BRENT. 1992. Ethnobiological 
Classification: Principles of Categoriza- 
tion of Plants and Animals in Traditional 
Societies. Princeton University Press, 
Princeton, New Jersey. 



1976. The concept of rank in 

ethnobiological classifications: some 
evidence from Aguaruna folk biology, 
American Ethnologist 3(3):381-399. 
and TAMES L. PATTON. 1979. La 



Gasification de los Mamiferos de los 
Aguaruna deAmazonas, Peru. University 
of California, Berkeley, California. 

BROWNRIGG, LESLIE A. 1986. Al Futuro 
desde la Experiencia: Los Pueblos Indigenas 
y el Manejo del Medio Ambiente. Abya 
Yala, Quito, Ecuador. 

CUSTRED, GLYNN. 1980. Ethnosemantic 
analysis as a tool in the designing and 
realization of a population and 
agriculture census. Pp. 233-243 in 
Indigenous Knowledge Systems and 
Development, David W. Brokensha, 
D.M. Warrem and Oswald Werner 
(editors). University Press of America, 
Washington, D.C. 



210 



BROWNRIGG 



Vol. 16, No.2 



WILLIAM 



Eastern 



Standard Methods for Amphibians. 
Smithsonian Institution Press, 
Peru. Pp. 92-110 in Native South Washington, D.C. 

Americans: Ethnology of the Least HUTTERER, KARL. 1982. Interactions 



Known Continent, Patricia Lyons 
(editor). Little Brown and Company, 
Boston and Toronto. 
EAKIN, L., I. LAURIAULT and H. 

Etnogrdfi 



between Tropical Ecosystems and 
Human Foragers: Some General 
Considerations. The East-West Center 
Environment and Policy Institute, 
Honolulu, Hawaii. 



de los Shipibos-conibos. Ignacio Prado INSTITUTO GEOGRAFICO NACIONAL. 



Pastor Editores, Lima, Peru. 



1989. Atlas del Peru. IGN, Lima, Peru 



EMMONS, LOUISE H. 1990. Neotropical INSTITUTO NACIONAL 

Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide. 
University of Chicago Press, Chicago 
and London. 

ENCARNACION, FILOMENO. 1983. 

forestales 



DE 

informAtica 



(INEI) 



</< 



preliminar). Coleccidn Comunidades 
Nativas No. 1. INEI, Lima, Peru. 



comunes en el Peru. Documento de trabajo KEMSLEY, W.F.F., R.U. REDPATH and M 



no. 7 Proyecto PNUD/FAO/PER/81/002. 

Ministerio de Agricultura, Lima, Peru. 
FERNANDEZ DE CORDOVA, GLUACO 

TORRES. 1982. Diccionario Yurakshimi- 

Runashimi. Casa de la Cultura, Nucleo del 

Azuay, Cuenca, Ecuador. 
GENTRY, ALWYN H (editor). 1990. Four 

Neotropical Rainforests. Yale University 

Press, New Haven and London. 



HOLMES. 1980. Family Expenditure 
Survey Handbook. Office of Population 

and Surveys, Her Majesty's Stationary 
Office, London, England. 
ENSINGER, KENNETH M. and WARD 
H. KRACKE. 1981. Food taboos in 
lowland South America. Working 
Papers on South American Indians No. 
3. Bennington, Vermont. 



-1988. Tree species of upper LEVI-STRAUSS, CLAUDE. 1973. From 



Amazon forests. Proceedings of the 
National Academy of Sciences 85:186. 



Honey to Ashes. Harper Row, New 



York. 



GROSS DANIEL R. 1975. Protein capture MACHECHA-VEGA, GILBERTO EMILIO 



and cultural development in the 



Amazon 



and 



Basin. 



RODRIGO 



ECHEVERRI- 



American 



Anthropologist 77(3):526-549. 

,MES, R. B. AND WILLIAM T. VICKERS 

(editors). 1983. Adaptive Responses of 

Native Amazonians. Academic Press, 
New York. 

.RVARD UNIVERSITY. Gray Herbarium 
Index of New World Plants. Harvard 



RESTREPO. 1983. Arboles del Valle de 

Cauca. Litografia Arco, Bogota, 
Colombia. 

^SHINKIASH CHINKIAS, MANUEL 
and MARINA AWAK TENTETS. 1986. 
La Selva, Nuestra Vida: Sabidurias 
Ecologica del Pueblo Shuar. Abya Yala, 
Quito " 



University Herbarium, http:// MEGGERS, BETTY 1. 1971. Amazonia: Man 



huh. harvard. edu:70/ 11 / 
project_information/ authority/ 
botany /gray_cards. 



HAWKES 



Biodiversity and Genetic Resources. 
Smithsonian Institution Press, 
Washington, D.C. 



HERALD 



the World. Doubleday Inc. Garden Citv 
New York. 7 

YER, W. RONALD, MAUREEN A 
DONNELLY, ROY W. MCDIARMID 
LEE-ANN C. HAYEK and MERCEDES 
S. FOSTER. 1994. Measuring and 
Monitoring Biological Diversity; 



and Culture in a Counterfeit Paradise. 

Atherton and Aldine, Chicago and New 
York. 

MINISTERIO DE AGRICULTURA, 
DIRECCION GENERAL DE FORESTAL 
Y FAUNA. 1992. Peru Forestal en 
Numeros, 1991. Ministerio de Agricultura, 
Lima, Peru. 

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES. 
1975. Underexploited Tropical Plants 
with Promising Economic Value. 



D.C. 



Washingt 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



211 



NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL. 1989. 
Lost Crops of the Incas: Little Known 
Plants of the Andes with Promise for 



Wo 



Cultivation. National 



EDWIN 



Washingt 



Imprenta Europa, Quito, Ecuador. 
PARKER, THEODORE A. Ill, SUSAN 



MANUEL 



An 



reporting of consumer expenditures. Pp. 
333-338 in Proceedings of the American 
Statistical Association Meetings. 
American Statistical Association, 
Alexandria, VA. 
SILBERSTEIN, ADRIANA R. and STUART 
SCOTT. 1991. Expenditure diary 
surveys and their associated errors. Pp. 
303-326 in Measurement Errors in 
Surveys, Paul Biemer, Robert Groves, C. 
Lyberg, N. Mathiowetz and M. Sudman 

(editors). John Wiley, New York. 
SILVA, JOSE L. and STUART D. STRAHL. 
1991. Human impact on populations of 
chachalacas, guans, and curassows 
(Galliformes: Cracidae) in Venezuela. 
Pp. 37-52 in Neotropical Wildlife Use 
and Conservation, John G. Robinson 

GENTRY. 1993. The useful plants of and Kent Redford (editors). University 

Tombopata, Peru: I. Statistical of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 

hypothesis with a new quantitative SISKIND, JANET 1973. To Hunt in the 



of Peruvian Birds. Buteo Books, 
Vermillion, South Dakota. 
PATI— O, VICTOR MANUEL. 1971. Plantas 
Cultivadas y Animales Domesticos en 
America Equinoccial. Tomo II: Plantas 
Alimenticias. Imprenta Departmental, 



Cali, Colombia. 



ALWYN 



technique. Economic Botany 47:15-32. 
PURDUE UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT 
OF HORTICULTURE, INDIANA 
CENTER FOR NEW CROPS AND 
PLANT PRODUCTS. Continuously 
updated. NewCROPS, http:// 



newcrop.hort.perdue.edu/. 



PRANCE 



1973. 



Caryocaraceae, Flora Neotropica 12:1- 



75 



ERIC 



hunting strategy: the adaptation to 
animals in Amazon cultural ecology. 
Current Anthropology 19(1):1-16. 

SCOTT, NORMAN J. 1994. Complete 
species inventories. Pp. 78-84 in 
Measuring and Monitoring Biological 
Diversity: Standard Methods for 
Amphibians, Heyer, W. Ronald, 
Maureen A. Donnelly, Roy W. 
McDiarmid, Lee-ann C. Hayek and 
Mercedes S. Foster (editors). 
Smithsonian Institution Press, 
Washington, D.C. 

SHULTES, RICHARD EVANS and ROBERT 
F. RAFFAUF. 1990. The Healing Forest: 
Medicinal and Toxic Plants of the 
Northwest Amazon. Dioscordes Press, 
Portland, Oregon. 

SILBERSTEIN, ADRIANA R. and STUART 
SCOTT. 1992. Seasonal effects in the 



Morning. Oxford University Press, 
London, Oxford, and New York. 

SOUKUP, JAROSLAV. 1988. Vocabulario de 
los Nombres Vulgares de la Flora Peruana 
y Catdlogo de los Generos. Editorial 
Salesiana, Lima, Peru. 

TOURNON, JACQUES. 1988. Las 
inundaciones y los patrones de ocupacion 
de las orillas del Ucayali por los shipibo- 
conibo. Amazonia Peruana 16:43-66. 

VASQUEZ M., RODOLFO. 1989. Plantas 
utiles de la amazonia peruana. Manuscript 
report of the Missouri Botanical Garden 
Expedition, Proyecto Flora del Peru, St. 
Louis, Missouri. 

VICKERS, WILLIAM T. 1991. Hunting 
yields and game composition over ten 
years in an Amazonian Indian territory. 
Pp. 53-81 in Neotropical Wildlife Use 
and Conservation, John G. Robinson 
and Kent Redford (editors). University 
of Chicago Press, Chicago and London. 

VILLAREJO, AVENCIO. 1979. Asi es la 
Selva, Third edition. Publicaciones 
CETA, Iquitos, Peru. 

WEISS, GERALD. 1969. The cosmology of 
the Campa Indians of eastern Peru. 
Ph.D. dissertation (Anthropology), 
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 



Journal of Ethnobiology 



Winter 



Journal of Ethnobiology 

INDEX TO KEY WORDS 

Volume 6, Number 1 through Volume 15, Number 2 



JENNIFER SEPEZ 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Washington 
Seattle, WA 981 1 9 

An index to Volumes 1 through 5 appeared in Volume 5, Number 2. Following 
that format, all entries indicate the entire article rather than specific pages within 
an article. The volume number appears in bold, followed by the page numbers. 
The year the volume was published can be calculated by adding 1980 to the vol- 
ume number, thus volume 6 was published in 1986. Copies of this index are 
available at a cost of $5.00 from the Secretary/Treasurer of the Society of 
Ethnobiology (see inside front cover of most recent issue). Make checks payable to 
Journal of Ethnobiology. In some cases, back issues of the Journal of Ethnobiology 

may be available (see subscription information on the inside back cover). 



A 

Acrocomia mexicana, 10:183-194. 

Adams, Karen R., Prehistoric reedgrass (phragmites) "cigarettes" with tobacco (nic- 
otiana) contents: a case study from Red Bow Cliff dwelling, Arizona, 10:123-139. 
Adaptation (to resource variance), 15:119-148. 
Africa, 14:173-183; 15:257-280. 
Agricultural systems, 6:151-167; 14:43-57; 6:169-204. 
Agriculture, 12:161-185; 6:279-288. 
Amazon, 6:229-238; 8:141-148. 
Anasazi, 7:137-155. 

Ancibor, Elena and Cecilia Perez de Micou, Identification of firewood species in 
the archaeological record of the Patagonian steppe, 15:189-200. 

Anderson, M. Kat, California Indian horticulture: management and use of red- 
bud by the Southern Sierra Miwok, 11:145-157 

Andes, 11:23-49; 12:161-185; 6:169-204. 

Antelope, 10:169-181. 

Arizona, 10:123-139. 

Ark ^ h on Br00ke S " Abori g inal exploitation of pronghorn in the Great Basin, 

6:239-255. 

Arrowroot, 14:211-234. 

B 

Balzapote, 8:45-79. 

Baobobtree, 14:173-183. 

Bauer, Aaron M. and Anthony P p,,<^ Q n 



Hopl 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 213 



! of Maori fo 
J. Richerson 



comm 



Begossi, Alpina, Food taboos and Buzios Island (Brazil): their significance and 
relation to folk medicine, 12:117-139. 

Benz, Bruce F., Francisco Santana M., Rosario Pineda L., Judith Cevallos E., Luis 
Robles H. and Domitila de Niz L., Characterization of Mestizo plant use in 
the Sierra de Manantlan, Jalisco-Colima, Mexico, 14:23-41. 



Berries, 9:69-110; 15:89-98. 

Big horn sheep, 10:169-181. 

Biodiversity, 6:151-167; 11:23-49; 12:161-185; 13:203-232; 14:43-57; 15:71- 

Birds, 10:43-57; 12:83-115; 14:59-73. 

Body weight (estimations from remains), 7:1-12. 

Bohrer, Vorsila L. r Guideposts in ethnobotany, 6:27-43. 

Borneo, 14:59-73. 

Brady, Timothy J., The influence of flotation on the rate of recovery 

coal from archaeological sites, 9:207-227. 

Brazil, 12:117-139; 13:233-256; 15:257-280. 

British Columbia, 7:55-82; 15:89-98. 

Bronze Age, 6:257-277. 

Brown, Cecil H., The folk subgenus: a new ethnobiological rank, 7 

Brush, Stephen B., Ethnoecology, biodiversity and modernization i 

tato agriculture, 12:161-185. 



148 



diversity and conservation in traditional farming 



terns 



M. and Irshad A. Navchoo, Ethnobotany of Ladakh 



in 



Buzios Island, 12:117-139; 13:233-256. 



tions, 6:1-8. 



Jr., Voucher specimens in ethnobiological 



Bye, Robert A. Jr. and Edelmire Linares, Ethnobotanical notes from 

San Luis, Colorado, 6:289-306. 
Bye, Robert A. Jr. and Edelmire Linares, Mexican market plants of 

tury I. Plants recorded in Historia Natural de Nueva Espana, 10:15 

C 

California, 9:173-199; 11:51-81; 11:145-157; 11:205-229; 12:63-80; 13:1 
Candomble, 15:257-280. 
Carpals, 10:169-181. 



reading of two Yucatec ethnomedical 
Caryota urens, 15:161-176. 
Cattle, 6:257-277. 
Ceramic Age, 15:119-148. 
Charcoal, 9:207-227. 
Charring, 14:1-21. 
Chenopodium, 13:149-170. 



Maya medicinal turtle, xkokak, and a suggested alternate 



214 



INDEX Vol. 16, No.2 



Chenopodium berlandieri , 7:29-54. 
Chronometry, 7:123-135. 
Chumash, 7:171-180. 

Cigarettes, 10:123-139. 
Classification (see Taxonomy) 
Clement, Daniel, Why is taxonomy 
Climate, 12:37-62. 
Cognition, 6:83-98. 
Collecting (animals), 11:1-22. 
Collecting (shellfish), 12:63-80. 

Collins, Paul W.. Interaction bptwpf 



mo 



human 



W. 



Americans 



Interaction between island foxes (Urocyn Httoralis) and Native 



and historical 



Colorado, 6:309-324; 7:123-135; 11:83-92. 

Colorado Plateau, 7:123-135. 

Compton, Brian, "Ghost's ears" (Exobasidium sp. affin. vaccinni) and foo] 
berries (Menziesia ferruginea Smith): a unique report of mycopha 
central and north coasts of British Columbia, 15:71-98. 

Conservation, 6:151-167; 12:227-231. 

Coprolites, 11:117-132; 12:203-224; 13:1-15. 

Cordyline terminalis, 9:51-63. 

Costa Rica, 14:161-172. 

Cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum), 6:309-324. 

Cowan, C. Wesley and Bruce D. Smith, New perspectives on a wild 
eastern North America, 13:17-54. 

Crops, 8:1-5; 13:203-232. 

Curcubita pepo, 8:35-44; 13:55-72; 13:75-97. 
Cymopterus, 11:83-92. 



D 



pepo seeds from 



Newsom, Numerical 



Decker-Walters, Deena S., Terrence W. Walters, C. Wesley Cowan and Bruce D. Smith, 

Isozymic characterization of wild populations of Cucurbita pepo, 13:55-72. 
Deer, 7:1-12; 10:169-181; 11:175-183. 
Detoxification, 8:81-129. 

Dexter, Ralph W, The F.W. Putnam-Edward Palmer relations in the development 

of early American ethnobotany, 10:35-41 
Diet, 6:205-223; 11:1-22. 
Dispersal (human assisted), 11:51-81. 
Domesticates, 8:1-5. 
Domestication, 10:23-32. 
Durango, 11:165-173. 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 215 



E 

East Kalimantan, 6:279-288. 
Economics, 7:29-54. 

Edible plants and fungi, 8:81-129; 11:165-173; 12:1-34. 

Egypt, 10:43-57; 11:193-202; 14:75-100. 

Elisabetsky, Dr. Elaine, New directions in ethnopharmacology, 6:121-128. 

Elizondo, Martha Gonzalez, Ethnobotany of the Southern Tepehuan of Durango, 

Mexico: I. Edible mushrooms, 11:165-173. 
Ellen, R.F., Ethnobiology, cognition and the structure of prehension: some general 

theoretical notes, 6:83-98. 
Emslie, Steven D., John D. Speth and Regge N.Wiseman, Two prehistoric Puebloan 

avifaunas from the Pecos Valley, southeastern New Mexico, 12:83-115. 
Erlich, Celia, Special problems in an ethnobotanical literature search: Cordyline 

terminalis (L.) Kunth, the "Hawaiian ti plant", 9:51-63. 
Estabrook, George F., Choice of fuel for Bagaco stills helps maintain biological 

diversity in a traditional Portuguese agricultural system, 14:43-57. 
Ethnobiology (ethics), 10:93-98. 
Ethnobiology (methods), 6:1-8; 6:19-25. 
Ethnobotany, 6:27-43; 6:289-306; 7:13-26; 7:55-82; 8:45-79; 8:185-194; 9:1-24; 10:35- 

41; 10:141-147; 11:165-173; 13:233-256; 14:23-41; 14:185-210; 15:161-176; 

15:201-235; 15:257-280. 
Ethnobotany (literature searches), 9:51-63. 
Ethnoecology, 12:161-185; 14:161-172. 
Ethnoentomology (methods), 6:99-120. 
Ethnomedicine, 7:13-26; 8:13-33; 8:149-169; 8:185-194; 8:195-202; 11:187-192; 12:117- 

139. 

Ethnopharmacology, 6:121-128. 

Ethnoveterinary medicine, 6:129-149. 

E thnozoology, 14:75-100,15:45-70. 

Ethnozoology (methods), 12:187-201. 

Europe, 8:171-184. 

Everett, Yvonne, The kitul palm: ethnobotany of Caryota mens L. in highland Sri 

Lanka, 15:161-176. 
Exobasidium sp., 15:89-98. 

F 

Fallowing, 6:169-204. 

Famine foods, 11:231-257; 13:171-202. 

Ferdon, Edwin Jr., A case for taro preceding kumara as the dominant domesticate 

in ancient New Zealand, 8:1-5. 
Ferns, 12:1-34. 
Fiber, 9:173-199. 
Firewood, 15:189-200. 
Fishing, 9:173-199. 
Florida, 8:35-44; 13:75-98; 14:141-160. 
Flotation, 7:137-153; 9:207-227. 



c taxonomy 

15:257-280. 



1-44 



216 



INDEX Vol. 16, No.2 



Folklore, 7:83-91; 8:141-148; 15:71-88. 

Food, 6:19-25. 

Food plants, 11:93-114. 

Food taboos, 10:195-225; 12:117-139. 

Ford, Pamela J., Antelope, deer, bighorn sheep and mountain goats: a guide to the 

carpals, 10:169-181. 
Forth, Gregory, Ethnozoological classification and classificatory language among 

the Nage of eastern Indonesia, 15:45-70. 
Fowler, Catherine S., Some notes on ethnographic subsistence systems in Mojavean 

environments in the Great Basin, 15:99-118. 
Foxes, 11:51-81; 11:205-229. 
Fuel, 10:61-90; 14:43-57. 
Fungi, 11:165-173; 15:89-98. 

G 

Gardens, 8:45-79. 

Genetics, 6:151-167; 13:55-72. 

Gitskan, 8:13-33. 

Goette, Susan, Michele Williams, Sissel Johannessen, and Christine A. Hastorf, 

reconstructing ancient maize: experiments in processing and charring, 



14:1-21. 



Gokkonidae, 7:83-91. 

Golden eagle, 15:237-256. 

Goodman, Steven M. and Joseph J. Hobbs, Cross-cultural and historical compari 

sons in the palatability of several Egyptian bird species, 10:43-57. 
Goodman, Steven M. and Joseph J. Hobbs, The distribution and ethnozoology o 

reptiles of the northern portion of the Egyptian eastern desert, 14:75-100. 
Gourds, 13:17-54; 13:75-98. 

Gragson, Ted L., Pume exploitation of Mauritia flexuosa (Palmae) in the Llanos o 

Venezuela, 15:177-188. 
Grand Canyon, 7:137-154. 
Great Basin, 6:239-255; 15:99-118; 15:237-256. 
Gremillion, Kristen J., The evolution of seed morphology in domesticated Che 

nopodium: an archaeological case study, 13:149-169. 
Gremillion, Kristen Johnson, The development of a mutualistic relationship be 



tween humans and maypops (Passiflora incarnata L.) in 
States, 9:135-155. 



H 



Hawaiian Ti plant, 9:51-63. 

Hazlett, Donald L., Availability and nutritional value of Cymopterus (Apiaceae) 
roots in the Colorado steppe, 11:83-92. 

Healey, Christopher, Tribes, states, and the exploitation of birds: some compari- 
sons of Borneo and New Guinea, 14:59-73. 

Heracleum lanatum (Cow parsnip), 6:309-324. 

Hesse, Brian, Pig lovers and pig haters: patterns of Palestinian pork production, 
10:195-225. Y 

Hmong, 7:13-26. 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 217 



Holloway, Richard G. and Vaughn M. Bryant Jr., New directions of palynology ir 

ethnobiology, 6:47-65. 
Hontoon Island, 8:35-44. 
Hopi, 13:203-232. 
Hoplocactylus delcourti, 7:83-91. 
Horticulture, 11:145-157. 
Huckleberries, 15:89-98. 
Hunn, Eugene, The use of sound recordings as voucher specimens and stimulus 

materials in ethnozoological research, 12:187-201. 
Hunting, 6:239-255; 11:175-183. 
Hyrax (Procavia capensis), 10:23-32. 

I 

India, 8:185-194. 

India (Bronze Age), 6:257-277. 

Indonesia, 6:279-288; 15:45-70. 

Insects, 8:195-202. 

Intellectual property rights, 10:93-98. 

Isozomes, 13:55-72. 

J 

Jalisco-Colima, 14:23-41. 

Johannessen, Sissel and Christine A. Hastorf, A history of fuel management (A.D. 
500 to the present) in the Mantaro Valley, Peru, 10:61-90. 

Johns, Timothy and Isao Kubo, A survey of traditional methods employed for the 
detoxification of plant foods, 8:81-129. 

Johnson Gottesfeld, Leslie M. and Beverley Anderson, Gitksan traditional medi- 
cine: herbs and healing, 8:13-33. 

Johnson Gottesfeld, Leslie M., Wet'suwet'en ethnobotany: traditional plant uses, 

14:185-210. 
Joyal, Elaine, Palm ethnoecology in the Saripiqui region of Costa Rica, 14:161-172. 

K 

Ka'apor, 9:1-24. 

Kamppinen, Matti, Espiritus incorporates: the roles of plants and animals in the 

Amazonia Mestizo folklore, 8:141-148. 

Kawekaweau, 7:83-91. 

Kitulpalm, 15:161-176. 

Klippel, Walter E., Lynn M. Snyder and Paul W. Parmalee, Taphonomy and 

archaeologically recovered mammal bone from southeast Missouri, 7:155-169. 
Kuhnlein, Harriet V. and Nancy J. Turner, Cow-parsnip (Heracleum lanatum michX.): 

an indigenous vegetable of native people of northwestern North America, 

6:309-324. 
Kuhnlein, Harriet V., Food sample collection for nutrient analyses in 

ethnobiological studies, 6:19-25. 
Kumara, 8:1-6. 

L 

La Qunita site, 13:1-15. 



218 



INDEX Vol. 16, No.2 



Ladakh, 8:185-194. 



W. Weber 



honal composition of some traditional mountain Pima plant foods, 11:93-114. 

Lazos Chavero, Elena and Maria Elena Alvarez-Buylla Roces, Ethnobotany in a tropi- 
cal-humid region: the home gardens of Balzapote, Veracruz, Mexico, 8:45-79. 

Lentz, David L., Acrocomia Mexicana: palm of the ancient Mesoamericans, 10:183-194. 

Life-forms (botanical), 8:171-184. 

Lillooet, 7:55-82; 9:69-113. 

Literature searches, 9:51-63. 

Lomatium dissectum (Apiaceae), 10:1-20. 

Lyman, R. Lee, Influences of mid-Holocene altithermal climates on mammalian 
faunas and human subsistence in eastern Washington, 12:37-62. 

R. Lee, On the analysis and interpretation of species list data in 
zooarchaeology, 6:67-81. 

man, R. Lee, Zooarchaeology and taphonomy: a general consideration, 7:93-117. 



man 



M 



Maize, 11:23-49; 14:1-21. 
Mammals, 12:37-62; 7:155-169. 
Management, 10:61-90. 
Mandujano, Salvador and Victor Rico 



Maya 



central Yucatan, Mexico, 11:175-183. 
Mantaro Valley, 10:61-90. 
Maori, 7:83-91. 

Maple sugar/syrup, 9:159-170. 

Markets, 10:151-168. 

Marshall Islands, 14:211-234. 

Martin, Gary J. and Sergio Madrid, Short Communication: Ethnobotany, distribu- 
tion, and conservation status of Ticondendron incognitum in northern Oaxaca, 
Mexico, 12:227-231. 

Mauritia flexuosa, 15:177-188. 

Maya, 11:135-142; 11:175-183; 11:187-192. 

Maypops (Passiflora incarnata), 9:135-155. 

McClung de Tapia, Emily, A perspective on Mexican ethnobotany, 10:141-147. 

/^? Pia ' Emily ' Published ^d unpublished works of C. Earle Smith, Jr. 

(1922-1987), 10:113-117. 

McCorkle, Constance M., An introduction to ethnoveterinary research and devel- 
opment, 6:129-149. 

McDonald, Darrel L., A survey of public plantings in the front yards of residences 

in Galveston, Texas, U.S.A., 9:31-46. 
Medical ethnobotany, 8:149-169. 
Medicinal animals, 11:187-192. 
Medicinal clan*. 7:13-26; 7:171-180; 8:13-33; 8:185-194; 11:117-132; 12:203-224; 



13:233-256; 15:257-280. 



Hunn 



Menzeisia ferruginea , 15:89-98. 



multi-purpose plant of the Pacific 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 219 



Mesoamerica, 10:183-194. 

Mestizos (Amazonian), 8:141-148. 

Mestizos (Mexican), 14:23-41. 

Mexico, 8:45-79; 10:141-147; 11:135-142; 11:165-173; 11:175-183; 11:187-193; 11:231- 
257; 12:227-231; 14:23-41. 

Mexico ( 1 6th century), 10: 1 5 1 -1 68 . 

Mexico (ancient), 8:195-202. 

Middens, 13:1-15. 

Minnis, Paul E., Famine foods of the North American desert borderlands in his- 
torical context, 11:231-257. 

Missouri, 7:155-169. 

Miwok, 11:145-157. 

Modernization, 12:161-185. 

Mojave, 15:99-118. 

Mountain goats, 10:169-181. 

Mulcahy, F. David, Botanical life-forms in European Romany, 8:171-184. 

Munson, Patrick J., Still more on the antiquity of maple sugar and syrup in ab- 
original eastern North America, 9:159-170. 

Mushrooms (edible), 11:165-173. 

Mutualism, 9:159-170. 

Mycophagy, 15:89-98. 

N 

Nage, 15:45-70. 

Nambiquara, 11:1-22. 

New Guinea, 8:149-169; 14:59-73. 

New Mexico, 12:83-115. 

New Zealand, 8:1-8. 

Newsom, Lee A., S. David Webb and James S. Dunbar, History and geographic 

distribution of Curcubita pepo gourds in Florida, 13:75-97. 
Nomenclature, 8:171-184; 9:1-24; 14:173-183. 
North America (eastern), 7:29-54; 9:159-170; 13:17-54. 
North America (northwestern), 6:309-324; 13:171 -202. 
North America (western), 12:1-34. 
Nutrient analysis, 6:19-25. 
Nutrition, 11:83-92; 11:93-114. 

O 

Oaxaca, 12:227-231. 

Odocoileus virginianus, 7:1-12; 11:175-183. 

Optimal foraging, 6:205-223 



Ricardo Godov, Sectorial fallowing systems in 



Andes, 6:169-204. 



P 



och, Christine, Agricultural site selection among permanent field farmers: an 

example from East Kalimantan, Indonesia, 6:279-288. 

e, Catherine V., Medicinal ethnobotany of Hmong refugees in Thailand, 7:13-26. 



220 



INDEX Vol. 16, No.2 



Payability, 10:43-57. 

Palestine, 10:195-225. 

Palm, 14:161-172. 

Palm (Acrocomia mexicana), 10:183-194. 

Palm (Caryota mens), 15:161-176. 

Palm (Mau ritia flexuosa), 15:1 77-1 88. 

Palmer, Edward, 10:35-4. 

Palynology, 6:47-65; 7:123-135; 7:137-153; 11:117-132. 

Papua New Guinea, 15:201-236. 

Papyrus, 11:193-202. 

Passiflora incarnata (maypops), 9:135-155. 

Patagonia, 15:189-200. 

Pecos Valley, 12:83-115. 

Peru, 10:61-90; 11:23-49. 

Pharmacology, 11:117-132. 

Pig, 10:195-225. 

Pima, 11:93-114. 

Plants (folklore), 8:141-148. 

Plants (yard plants), 8:45-79; 9:31-46. 

Pollen, 11:117-132. 

Pork, 10:195-225. 

Portugal, 14:43-57. 

Posey, Darrell Addison, Intellectual property rights: what 



ethnobiology, 



ethnoentomology with some 



6:99-120. 



development of hypothesis-generation and testing in ethnobiology 



Potato, 11:23-49; 12:161-185. 
Prehension, 6:83-98. 
Procavia capensis (hyrax), 10:23-32 
Processing (of animals), 11:1-22. 
Processing (of maize), 14:1-21 . 
Pronghorn, 6:239-255. 
Pueblo, 12:83-115. 
Pume, 15:177-188. 
Purdue, James R., Estimation of 
virginianus) from bone size, 7:1 
Putnam, F.W., 10:35-41. 

R 



Raab, L. Mark, An optimal foraging analysis of prehistoric shellfish collecting on 

San Clemente Island, California, 12:63-80. 
Ramos-Elorduy de Concini, Dra. Julieta and M. en C. Jose Manuel Pino Moreno, The 

utilization of insects in the empirical medicine of ancient Mexicans, 8:195-202. 
Rashford, John, Africa's Baobab tree: why monkey names?, 14:173-183. 

Rea, Amadeo M., Verification and reverification: problems in archaeofaunal stud- 
ies, 6:9-18. 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 221 



Red Bow Cliff dwelling, 10:123-139. 
Redbud, 11:145-157. 
Reedgrass, 10:123-139. 

Refugees, 7:13-26. 

Reinhard, Karl J., Donny L. Hamilton and Richard H. Hevly, Use of pollen con- 
centration in paleopharmacology: coprolite evidence of medicinal plants, 

11:117-132. 
Reitz, Elizabeth J., Rochelle A. Marrinan and Susan L. Scott, Survey of vertebrate 

remains from prehistoric sites in the Savannah River Valley, 7:195-221. 
Reitz, Elizabeth J., The wells of Spanish Florida: using taphonomy to identify site 

history, 14:141-160. 
Reptiles, 7:83-91; 11:187-192; 14:75-100. 
Rico-Gray, Victor and Jose G. Garcia-Franco, The Maya and the vegetation of the 

Yucatan peninsula, 11:135-142. 
Rissman, Paul, Seasonal aspects of man/cattle interaction in bronze age western 

India, 6:257-277. 
Romany, 8:171-184. 
Roots, 11:83-92; 12:1-34. 

S 

Salish, 7:55-82; 9:69-114. 

Sails, Roy A., To catch a fish: some limitations on prehistoric fishing in southern 
California with special reference to native plant fiber fishing line, 9:173-199. 

Salton Basin, 13:1-15. 

San Clemente Island, 12:63-80. 

San Luis Valley, 6:289-306. 

Saripiqui, 14:161-172. 

Savannah River Valley, 7: 1 95-22 1 . 

Scarcity, 13:171-202. 

Schmitt, Dave N., The taphonomy of golden eagle prey accumulations at Great 

Basin roosts, 15:237-256. 
Schoenwetter, James, A palynological approach to a chronometry problem on the 

Colorado plateau, 7:123-135. 
Schultes, Richard Evans, How I met C. Earle Smith, 10:119-121. 
Schultes, Richard Evans, Recognition of variability in wild plants by Indians of 

the northwest Amazon: an enigma, 6:229-238. 
Scora, Peter E. and Rainer W. Scora, Some observations on the nature of papyrus 

bonding, 11:193-202. 

Seasonality, 6:257-277. 
Seeds, 7:137-153; 8:35-44. 
Seeds (evolution of morphology), 13:149-170. 

Setz, Eleonore Zulnara Freire, Animals in the Nambiquara diet: methods of col- 
lection and processing, 11:1-22. 
Shellfish, 12:63-80. 

Sierra de Manantlan, 14:23-41. 

Sillitoe, Paul, An ethnobotanical account of the plant resources of the Wola re- 
gion, Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea, 15:201-235. 




INDEX Vol. 16, No.2 



Site selection, 6:279-288. 

Sledge, W. Arthur and Richard Evans Schultes, Richard Spruce: a multi 
botanist, 8:7-12. 

Smith, Bruce D., The economic potential of Chenopodium berlandieri in pr 

eastern North America, 7:29-54. 
Smith, C. Earle, Jr., 10:113-117; 10:119-121. 
Sobolik, Kristin D. and Deborah J. Gerick, Prehistoric medicinal plant 

case study from coprolites, 12:203-224. 
Soleri, Daniela and David A. Cleveland, Hopi crop diversity and change, 13 



recordings, 12:187-201. 

(interp 



6:67-81. 



ennemann, Dirk H. R v Traditional arrowroot production and utilization in 
Marshall Islands. 14:211-934 



"Domestication" of hyrax (Procavia 



Spruce, Richard, 8:7-12. 
Sri Lanka, 15:161-176. 
States, 14:59-73. 

Stevenson, Thomas B. and Brian Hesse, 

capensis), in Yemen, 10:23-32. 
Stimulus materials, 12:187-201. 
Stochastic environments, 6:205-223. 
Subsistence, 7:137-156; 12:37-62; 13:1-15; 15:99-118. 
Sullivan, Alan P. Ill, Seeds of discontent: implications of a "Pompei" archaeobotanical 

assemblage for Grand Canyon Anasazi subsistence models, 7:137-153. 
Sutton, Mark Q., Midden and coprolite derived subsistence evidence: an analysis 

of data from the La Quinta site, Salton Basin, California, 13:1-15. 

T 

Taboos, 12:117-139. 

Taphonomy, 7:93-117; 7:155-169; 14:141-160; 15:237-256. 
Taro, 8:1-5. 



exam 



The role of medical ethnobotany in ethnomedicine: a New 



Tepehuan, 11:165-173. 

Texas, 9:31-46. 

Thailand, 7:13-26; 15:71-88. 

Thompson, 7:55-82; 9:69-112. 

Ticondendron incognitum, 12:227-231. 

Timbrook, Jan, Virtuous herbs: plants in Chumash medicine, 7:171-180. 

Tobacco, 10:123-139. 

Tribes, 14:59-73. 

Tropical forest composition, 11:135-142. 

Turner, Nancy J., "All berries have relations" mid range folk plant groupings in 

Thompson and Lillooet interior Salish, 9:69-110. 
Turner, Nancy J. and Alison Davis, "When everything was scarce": the role of 

plants as famine foods in northwestern North America, 13:171-201. 
turner , Nancy J., General plant categories in Thompson and Lillooet, two interior 

Salish languages of British Columbia. 7:55-82 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 223 



Turner, Nancy }., Leslie M. Johnson Gottesfeld, Harriet V. Kuhnlein, and Adolf 
Ceska, Edible wood fern rootstocks of western North America: solving an 
ethnobotanical puzzle, 12:1-34. 

Turtle, 11:187-192. 

U 

United States (northwest), 10:1-20. 
United States (southeast), 9:135-155. 
United States (southwest), 11:231-257. 
Urocyon littoralis, 11:51-81; 11:205-229. 
Utilitarianism, 15:1-44. 

V 

Variability of wild plants, 6:229-238. 

Venezuela, 15:177-188. 

Veracruz, 8:45-79. 

Vertebrates, 7:195-221. 

Voeks, Robert, Candomble ethnobotany: African medicinal plant classification in 

Brazil, 15:257-280. 
Voucher specimens, 6:1-8; 12:187-201. 

W 

Washington, 12:37-62. 

West Indian Archipelago, 15:119-148. 

Wester, Lyndon and Sekson Yongvanit, Biological diversity and community lore 

in northeastern Thailand, 15:71-88. 
Wet'suwet'en, 14:185-210. 

William Balee, Nomenclatural patterns in Ka'apor ethnobotany, 9:1-24. 
Wing, Elizabeth S. and Stephen R. Wing, Prehistoric ceramic age adaptation to 

varying diversity of animal resources along the West Indian Archipelago, 

15:119-148. 

Winterhalder, Bruce, Optimal foraging: simulation studies of diet choice in a sto- 
chastic environment, 6:205-223. 

Wola, 15:201-236. 

Wood (charcoal), 9:207-227. 

X 

Xkokak, 11:187-192. 

Y 

Yemen, 10:23-32. 

Yucatan Peninsula, 11:135-142; 11:175-183. 

Z 

Zimmerer, Karl S., Managing diversity in potato and maize fields of the Peruvian 

Andes, 11:23-49. 
Zooarchaeology, 7:1-12; 7:93-117; 7:155-169; 7:195-221; 11:51-81; 11:205-229; 12:37- 

62; 12:83-115. 
Zooarchaeology (methods), 6:9-18; 6:67-81. 



Journal of Ethnobiology 16(2):224-233 



Winter 1996 



SHORT COMMUNICATION 



AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL BURNING, MISHAPS AND 
CONFLICT: IMPLICATIONS FOR ETHNOBIOLOGY 



TREVOR N. HOWARD 

GPO Box 4306 
Darwin NT 0801 



INTRODUCTION 

Aboriginal burning and its long-term effects on Australian vegetation and eco- 
systems have been hotly debated. Jones (1969) characterizes Aborigines as 'fire-stick 
farmers' who deliberately manipulated fire regimes and resources bringing about 
significant changes to the Australian biota. Horton (1982), on the other hand, sug- 
gests that climate and soil are determinants of vegetation with human ignition 
being relatively insignificant. 1 Today, ecologists and land managers are grappling 
with the decline of many fire-sensitive species, such as the cypress pine Callitris 
intratropica, which has been severely impacted by altered fire regimes following 
the settlement of the northern Australian savanna (Bowman 1995a, 1995b; Bow- 
man et al. 1988, 1993; Haynes 1985, 1991). Land use has changed, and feral animals 
and plants now add further ecological complexity (Bowman 1991; Latz 1995a). 
Across much of northern and central Australia there remains considerable scope 
for collaborative research involving Aborigines, anthropologists and ecologists with 
respect to the ecology of Aboriginal burning. 

Aboriginal society has also been significantly transformed. Alienation from 
the land and economic impoverishment have occurred in many regions, while 
some groups continue to occupy traditional lands and now engage in new forms 
of economic endeavor such as ecotourism or beef cattle production. Aboriginal 
burning continues, albeit with many contemporary adaptations, and this practice 



rutiny 



the 



management 



ethnobiologists should contribute to this 



more 



firmly 



set Australian Aboriginal burning in the broad context of hunter-gatherer 

with his discussion of deliberate environmental manipulation and resource do- 
mestication. 

In this paper, I sketch the pragmatic and esoteric aspects of Aboriginal burn- 
ing, drawing together the fragments of existing anthropological research within 
an ethnobiological and ecological framework. But my concerns are also with 
broader issues of relevance to ethnobiology and themes in human-environment 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 223 



relationships. Fire, even when used by experienced practitioners, whether rang- 
ers, pastoralists or Aborigines, is a volatile and easily mis-managed tool. 2 Sources 
of conflict and resolution processes have been a major analytical focus for anthro- 
pologists (Gluckman 1965; Hallpike 1977; Hiatt 1965; Meyers 1986). While conflict 
in Aboriginal communities is mostly generated by causes other than fire, I argue 
that social tension arising from fire-related problems is not uncommon and offers 
an opportunity for a profitable marriage of political anthropology and ethnobiology 
(see Healey 1994 for a similar orientation). To set the stage for this theoretical con- 
vergence, I begin with an outline of fire in Aboriginal practice and thought. 



ABORIGINAL FIRE USE, KNOWLEDGE AND CHANGE 



Aboriginal cosmology and natural history concepts are well documented (e.g. 
Rose 1992). Narrative traditions record the eventful journeys of creative ancestors 
who sculpted landforms and introduced all natural phenomena, including people. 
Rules for the ritual maintenance of country, including the proper use of fire, were 
established to ensure that the social and natural order would prevail. Of course, 
the use of fire has numerous practical applications as well. Campsites are cleared 
of grass and snakes, signals transmitted between distant parties and game driven 
to strategic places for harvesting. However, even in hunting, burning is not hap- 



supernatural dimension 



Mayal 



the Kakadu region. These maneuvers take account of the prey, season, time of day, 
topography, wind dynamics, and the number of available hunters. Wallaroo 3 hunt- 
ing at night is described as particularly hazardous, with malevolent spirits 

attempting to deceive the hunters. 

Systems of classification are also keys to understanding Aboriginal fire knowl- 
edge. Beyond biological taxonomies which recognize discontinuities in nature 
and assemble named and covert clusters of folk taxa (Hunn 1977; Waddy 1988), 
social classification schemes integrate the natural world into the social and cosmic 
order. While humans have individual membership in a social class, such as a semi- 
moiety, each species is systematically assigned to the same categories in ways which 
may have implications for the ethnography of burning. For example, Chaloupka 
and Giuliani (1984) have shown that the allocation by the Mayali people, of cer- 
tain grasses (Poaceae) to the semi-moiety associated with fire, is dependent on the 
species' flammability. Those species which readily and fiercely combust are in- 
cluded in the same semi-moiety as fire, while less flammable grasses are assigned 

to another social category. 

Totemic classification and fire ecology are also linked. Totemism and species 
selection have been of enduring concern to anthropologists (Buhner 1978, 1979; 
Elkin 1933; Levi-Strauss 1966), and Waddy (1988) demonstrates that the distribu- 
tion and sharing of totems among Groote Eylandt clans is not random. Waddy 
finds that totemic classification is based on associations in nature as well as myth, 
not hierarchical conceptual thought as with biological taxonomies. Sentimental 
attachment to locality is also important in totemic beliefs, and Peterson (1972) has 
shown that totemism has an adaptive significance in the spatial arrangement of 
erouos and territories. As emblematic indicators of the relationships between hu- 



226 



HOWARD Vol. 16, No.2 



mans, natural entities and places, totems are inte 



must be carefully considered to access environmen 



knowledge encoded in social phenomena. 

In Waddy's (1988) account of totemic classification, the cypress pine Callitris 
intratropica and other related totems are shared by a number of clans, influencing 
the distribution of clan territories and sites. This tree is fire-sensitive and requires 
careful management (Bowman 1995a, 1995b; Bowman et al. 1988, 1993; Haynes 
1985, 1991), and Bowman (1995b) suggests that the survival and characteristics of 
stands in some environments can only be attributed to skilled burning by Aborigi- 
nal people. On Maria Island in the Limmen Bight of the Gulf of Carpentaria, a 
particular cypress pine is regarded as potentially harmful if disturbed, and knowl- 
edge of the poisonous nature of the tree and fear of sickness are widespread (Bradley 
1988; McLaughlin 1978/79). The sap, which is used in sorcery, can only be col- 
lected by persons in a prescribed custodial role. In the mythology of the local Mara 
people, the Plains Kangaroo deliberately left this cypress on the island rather than 
the mainland to reduce the likelihood of damage to the tree and the risk of social 
harm (Bradley 1988). It is probable that local fire regimes have evolved to mini- 
mize impact on the cypress habitat. Similar examples of fire protection at totemic 
places are given by Haynes (1985), Jones (1980) and Lewis (1985, 1989, 1992). Care- 
ful planning to reduce scorch height and to protect tree-dwelling fauna may have 
a similar motivation. 

Exclusion of fire from places of importance is not always desirable. Bradley 
(1984, 1995) describes burning to cleanse country of the spirit of the recently de- 
ceased. This common purifying ritual is necessary before general use of the area 
can be resumed. Some potentially harmful totemic sites can be calmed with fire 



smoke 



must 



activity must 



smoke 



great care is needed with fire as well as substantial environmental knowledge. 

While I have so far furnished an account of burning in its traditional context, 
the picture is far from complete. The movement of people across the landscape is 
now influenced by land title and legislation (Hughes 1995), access restrictions, 
residence, vehicles, roads and fencelines. Matches are now the norm for ignition. 
Waddy (1988) describes burning as a random activity carried out as roads become 
passable after the monsoonal wet season. Head and Fullagar (1991) provide a more 
detailed description of vehicle-based burning in a region where extensive pastoral 
activities dominate land use. Two points are significant here. First, the use of new 
technology does not necessarily mean a discontinuity in cultural knowledge with 
regard to fire. Lewis (1992) is correct in chiding anthropologists for equating tech- 
nology with material culture and failing to consider underlying ecological 
knowledge. The second point I wish to make is that ethnobiological studies, in- 
cluding resource management and fire use, must account for specific regional 
environmental and socio-cultural histories, and the role of the state in land use 
planning and policy. While traditions continue, Aboriginal communities are un- 



maj 



management practices in everyday 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 227 



5 following discussion looks at fire related m 
ethnography. 



FIRE, CONFLICT AND ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH 

Violation of significant sites through inappropriate fire management will un- 
doubtedly have social consequences, and ritual responsibility and rights of access 
will emerge as dominant issues. Gould (1971) has documented one such incident 
in which a fire desecrated a sacred site associated with particular totemic 
macropods. Although the ignition source was unclear and damage may not have 
been intended, the post-fire discussions escalated into intense anger. Insufficient 
information about the culprits and other pressing social needs eventually quelled 
the situation. However, Gould highlights the potential for an inflammation of griev- 
ances at a later time. Patrick McConvell (pers. comm.) has also witnessed a similar 
incident in the Kimberley region in which a cache of sacred objects was destroyed. 
The storage of sacred objects in carefully selected rocks and trees, requires that 
fires in the vicinity be controlled. In this instance a fire destroyed the objects placed 
in a tree, and amidst the social tension and drama which ensued, death was con- 
sidered to be an appropriate penalty for the arsonists. As these were discovered to 
be Europeans the matter was not pursued. Bradley (1995:30) is similarly illustra- 
tive of the emotion and potential hostility which accompanies inappropriate fires. 
In regard to burning without permission he writes: "Postures of feigned or real 
anger still occur, people still issue challenges using digging sticks and crowbars as 
weapons...." The seriousness of these events is also emphasized in Warner's (1958) 
note that damage to log coffin burials from deliberate burning of country may be 
sufficient cause for retaliatory homicide. Social tension from indiscriminate burn- 
ing is evidently not uncommon. 

These incidents raise some pertinent points regarding anthropology and the 
ethnographic orientation of ethnobiology. It is now beyond contention that hunter- 
gatherers actively manage the landscape, but it must not be assumed that fire plans 
are implemented without mishap. Although anthropologists have moved beyond 
simplistic Rousseauian views of human-environment relationships (Friedman 
1979), we must be cautious of regarding indigenous people as "paragons of eco- 
logical wisdom" (Brunton 1992:1) unable to err in fire management. Lewis (1992, 
1994) has commented on occasional mistakes by Aborigines, and in many other 
societies with a highly developed fire technology, such as the Papuan Tauade, loss 
of fire control can destroy "trees, gardens, villages and people" and generate neigh- 
borhood clashes (Hallpike 1977:204). Even in the hands of experts a failure of 
judgment in fire management can have enormous environmental and social con- 
sequences. Poorly skilled adults, malicious individuals and playful and careless 
children also abound in all cultures. Political anthropologists have long held an 
interest in the study of conflict situations (e.g. Gluckman 1965; Hiatt 1965; Meyers 
1986) and this orientation is of immense relevance to problems in human ecology 
and ethnobiology. Situations of fire related tension may therefore be ethnographi- 
cally rewarding, by bringing into sharper focus Aboriginal perceptions of ecological 
entities and processes, and the decision making organization which underpins 
resource management. 



228 



HOWARD Vol. 16, No.2 



Poiner (1985, 1990) has demonstrated the merits of a similar ethnographic strat 
egy in her study of the response to bushfires by the community of the New Soutl 
Wales rural town of Marulan. While not concerned with ecology, Poiner 's researcl 
certainly portrays the dynamics of the human environment in which land man 
agement is embedded. In the social drama which unfolded, both durine and afte: 



major 



became more 



e temporarily suspended in some contexts, while the overal 
women was underlined. The usual norms of eroun mem 



community, made clear many social relationships and long-term ties to land and 
lifestyle which otherwise would have remained obscure. Attachment to kin and 
country, and the necessity for mechanisms to resolve conflict, are universal themes 
of human existence. Cross-cultural comparison in the fire prone Australian envi- 
ronment reinforces the need to adopt a broader approach to ethnobiology and fire 
research. 

With regard to Aboriginal burning, analysis of conflict resulting from un- 
planned or mis-managed conflagrations may reveal new aspects of fire ecology 
and cosmology, and should throw light on the associated social organization, which 
has received only limited attention. 4 Furthermore, what has been reported 
concerning the social organization of burning is frequently contradictory. Bradley 
(1984, 1995) has indicated that the Yanyuwa people of the Gulf of Carpentaria 
organize burning along the lines of complementary social groups. Managers of 
country— matrifiliates— usually burn or reauest itmiHon hv ™ 



ternal 
em in 



unknown 



and if rights are exceeded the perpetrators are strongly challenged. Lewis (1989), 
in his Kakadu material, points out that despite responsibility to senior clan mem- 
bers, men, women and children may start fires while in flammable country subject 
to their knowledge of appropriate habitat burning requirements. Yet, in an end 
note to Lewis' paper, a personal communication from Meehan and Williams is 
cited which states that: "most 'traditional burning' in Arnhem Land ... [is] carried 



in 



out by women 

eties the use of fire has no gender or age restrictions, and that fires setf or a number 
ot purposes are allowed to burn uncontrolled. Lewis (1992) describes restrictions 
on intense fires in rainforest patches for ritual and totemic reasons, but gives an 
account of casually conducted 'corrective' burning to clear neglected country in 
which fuel loads are extremely high. Resulting fires of great intensity are noted as 
severely affecting rainforest communities, although Lewis does not discuss any 
negative ecological or social outcomes. Obviously if totemic sites or significant 
habitats and species are to be properly managed, the authorization and deploy- 
ment ot people to light fires must be coordinated at some level. Custodial rights 
and the acquisition of specialist knowledge relating to the pragmatic and esoteric 
aimensions of land-care are the crucial factors. Conflict may be the context in which 
ethnographic insights are gained. 

High-mtensity corrective burning is the subject of a more thorough discussion 
by Lewis (1994) in which he reveals the Aboriginal logic which integrates this 
practice with other traditional fire management activities. Regular burning is an 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 229 



action necessitated by moral responsibilities to kin and country, so that restorative 
fires, even under conditions considered inappropriate by non- Aboriginal fire au- 



may 



may even be lit with "an almost manic compulsion" for 



exam 



Lewis, based on information supplied by a biologist who was present, describes 
the burning of Maria Island to fulfill obligations to a recently deceased kinsman 
after a long absence from the island and at least fifteen fire-free years. The result 
was a conflagration which reduced almost the whole island to "4,000 hectares of 
burnt snags and ash" (Lewis 1994:951) and caused considerable satisfaction for 
the traditional owners. This is the same island that I have already discussed in the 
context of a culturally significant and potentially dangerous cypress pine, a spe- 
cies with limited fire tolerance. Consequences for the cypress pine or Maria land 
owners are unknown. 

In the context of social change the potential for mishaps has increased, and 
this creates new dilemmas for the application of Aboriginal burning in land man- 
agement programs. Features of the landscape remain a focal point for Aboriginal 
people in the construction of their ethnic identity. But as I have indicated earlier, 
traditional patterns of Aboriginal land use have been disrupted and transformed 
along with the mechanisms for the intergenerational transmission of knowledge 
and skills. Peter Latz (1995a:81), a botanist with substantial experience in fire re- 
search and Aboriginal communities, makes some valid points in regard to 
Aboriginal burning: 

But it's only years and years of experience that make it look easy... The only 
trouble is. ..once your burning system has been stopped it is one hell of a job 
getting it back again!. ..This last [fire in the South Australian Mann Ranges] 
was lit by Aborigines but they didn't realize the problems that occur when 
the fuel had built up. They had been away from their country in the past 
and the system had broken down... A whole lot of figs, which are sacred in 
this country, were burnt out of existence and the rock wallaby 5 which is 
practically extinct on this range, has lost some of its tucker. 

Like Latz (1995a; 1995b), I strongly suggest that there is much to be learned 
from Aboriginal people which can be of benefit to fire ecologists, anthropologists 
and government and private land managers. Researchers, however, should be 
mindful that intentional Aboriginal burning 



ironmental stewardship, and an understanding of fire behavior and 
mistakes and unintended outcomes is essential (cf., Johannes « 



Lewis 



CONCLUDING REMARKS: IMPLICATIONS FOR ETHNOBIOLOGY 



Evidently more research and new strategies are required to inve 
ecology and Aboriginal burning. Interdisciplinary dialogue is also esse 
formed anthropological discourse. Systems of ethnobiological cla 
incorporate important species level information but are not an adequate 



230 



HOWARD Vol 16, No.2 



knowledee. I have commented 



mis-manage 



ment. Loss of fire control appears more frequent than is acknowledged and 
problems are inevitable given the nature of children and the inherent disparities 
in human intentions and competence. Social upheaval may be a key to revealing 
Aboriginal perspectives on environmental phenomena and ecological processes 
as well as the socio-political context of burning. For ethnobiology in general, there 
is clearly a case for a broadening of theoretical dimensions as a means of under- 
standing the application of ethnobiological knowledge in practical resource 
management. The analysis of conflict will open up new ethnographic ground and 

may bridge the divide between the ethnoscience school and other branches of 
anthropological inquiry. 



NOTES 



1 



The 



and 



not warranted here. Stephen Pyne (1991) has produced a well-crafted and comprehensive 
synthesis of existing material from a range of disciplines and makes some interesting com- 
ments on the evolving interdependence of flora, fire and humans. Flannery (1995) pro- 



another 



in consuming accumulated fuel and increasing fire frequency following the extinction of 
the herbivorous megafauna (cf., Bowman 1991). But despite the widespread influence of 
Jones' thesis most researchers would agree that evidence is sparse, and the issue will re- 
main contentious until much more research is done (Bowman and Brown 1986; Bowman 
1995b; Latz 1995b). 



My 



ment. I have witnessed, and been involved in, many incidents in which experienced per- 
sonnel have made incorrect judgments and lit fires which have reacted rapidly to unfore- 
seen conditions. 



3 A kangaroo relative and a member of the family Macropodidae. 

4 In 1992 Professor Henry Lewis wrote: "... consideration of the social dimensions involved 

m such activities have all but been ignored." (p. 23). This situation has not substantially 
changed since. 



5 See note 3, above. 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 



Chris Healey and Ian Walters have provided encouragement and constructi 
comments on earlier drafts. Other valuable criticisms and suggestions have be 
made by journal appointed referees. Professor Henry Lewis drew my attention 
his 1991 and 1994 articles and kindly supplied copies. I also thank the Aborigir 
Areas Protection Authority for permission to use unrestricted records, and Geoi 
Chaloupka and Pina Giuliani for allowing the use of an unpublished manuscri 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



231 



LITERATURE CITED 



BOWMAN, DAVID. 1991. Can we untangle 
fire — megafauna — climate — human — 
Pleistocene impacts on the Australian 
biota? Archaeology in Oceania 26(2):78. 

Why 



Research Unit, Australian National 
University, Darwin. 
BRAITHWAITE, RICHARD W. 1995. A 
healthy savanna, endangered mammals 
and Aboriginal burning. Pp. 91-102 in 
Country In Flames: Proceedings of the 
1994 Symposium on Biodiversity and 
Fire in North Australia, Deborah Bird 
Rose (editor). Biodiversity Series, No. 3, 
Biodiversity Unit, North Australia 
Research Unit, Australian National 
University, Darwin. 

BRUNTON, RON. 1992. Environmentalist 

and sorcery. IPA Environmental 
Backgrounder 8:1-9. 

ecological biogeography in Australian BULMER, RALPH N. H. 1978. Totems and 



is critical for the management of 
biodiversity in Northern Australia. Pp. 
103-109 in Country In Flames: 
Proceedings of the 1994 Symposium on 
Biodiversity and Fire in North Australia, 



ty 



ty 



Australia Research Unit, Australian 
National University, Darwin. 

1995b. Two examples of the role of 



prehistory: the fire ecology of Callitris 
intratropica, and the spatial pattern of 
stone tools in the Northern Territory. 
Australian Archaeology 41:8-11. 

BOWMAN, DAVID AND M. J. BROWN. 
1986. Bushfires in Tasmania: A botanical 
approach to anthropological questions. 
Archaeology in Oceania 21:166-171. 

BOWMAN, DAVID AND WILLIAM 
PANTON. 1993. Decline of Callitris 
intratropica R.T. Baker & H.G. Smith in 
the Northern Territory: implications for 
pre- and post-European colonization 



20:373-381. 



Journal 



taxonomy. Pp. 1-19 in Australian 
Aboriginal Concepts. Lester Hiatt 
(editor). Australian Institute of 
Aboriginal Studies, Canberra. 

1979. Mystical and mundane in 

Kalam classification of birds. Pp. 57-79 
in Classifications in their Social Context, 
Roy Ellen and David Reason (editors). 
Academic Press, London. 

CHALOUPKA, GEORGE AND PINA 
GIULIANI. 1984. Gundulk Abel Gundalg: 
Mayali Flora. Northern Territory Museum 
of Arts and Sciences, Darwin. 

ELKIN, ADOLPHUS P. 1933. Studies in 



Australian 



totemism. 



Oceania 



BOWMAN, DAVID, B.A. WILSON 

G.W. DAVIS. 1988. Resoonse of C 



Monographs no. 2. Australian National 
Research Council, Sydney. 



intratropica R.T. Baker & H.G. Smith to FLANNERY, TIMOTHY J. 1995. The Future 



fire protection, Murgenella, Northern 
Australia. Australian Journal of Ecology 
13:147-159. 

BRADLEY, JOHN. 1984. An Unchanging 
Law : Concepts of Yanyuwa Land 
Tenureship. Records of the Aboriginal 
Areas Protection Authority, Darwin. 

1988. Request for the registration 



of sites on Maria Island, Beatrice Island 
and on the mainland area of the Limmen 
Bight. Report to the Aboriginal Areas 

Authority 



Eaters: An Ecological History of the 
Australasian Lands and People. Reed, 
Port Melbourne. 
FREIDMAN, JONATHAN. 1979. Hegelian 
ecology: between Rousseau and the 
world spirit. Pp. 253-270 in Social and 
Ecological Systems, P. Burnham and 
Roy Ellen (editors). Academic Press, 

London. 
GLUCKMAN, MAX. 1965. Politics, Law 
and Ritual in Tribal Society. Basil 
Blackwell, Oxford. 



1995. Fire: emotion and politics. A GOULD, RICHARD A. 1971. Uses and effects 



Yanyuwa case study. Pp. 25-31 in 
Country In Flames: Proceedings of the 
1994 Symposium on Biodiversity and 
Fire in North Australia, Deborah Bird 
Rose (editor). Biodiversity Series, No. 3, 
Biodiversity Unit, North Australia 



of fire among the Western Desert 
Aborigines of Australia. Mankind 8:14-24. 
HALLPIKE, CHRISTOPHER R. 1977. 
Bloodshed and Vengeance in the Papuan 
Mountains : The Generation of Conflict 
in Tauade Society. Clarendon, Oxford. 



232 



HOWARD 



Vol. 16, No.2 



HAYNES, CHRISTOPHER D. 1985. The JONES, RHYS. 1969. Fire-stick farming. 

pattern and ecology of munwag: Australian Natural History 16:224-228. 

Traditional Aboriginal fire regimes in 

North-Central Arnhem Land. 

Proceedings of the Ecological 

Society of Australia 13:203-214. 
1991. Use and impact of fire. Pp. 

61-71. in Monsoonal Australia: 



Landscape, Ecology and Man in the 

Northern Lowlands, Christopher D. 

Haynes, Michael G. Ridpath and Martin 

A.J. Williams (editors). Balkema, 
Rotterdam. 

HEAD, LESLEY AND RICHARD 
FULLAGAR. 1991. 'We all la one land': 
Pastoral excisions and Aboriginal 
resource use. Australian Aboriginal 
Studies 1:39-52. 

HEALEY, CHRISTOPHER J. 1994. Tribes, 
states and the exploitation of birds: a 
comparison of Borneo and New Guinea. 
Journal of Ethnobiology 14:59-73. 

HIATT, LESTER R. 1965. Kinship and 
Conflict: A Study of an Aboriginal 
Community in Northern Arnhem Land 



1980. Hunters in the Australian 

coastal savanna. Pp. 108-146 in Human 
Ecology in Savanna Environments, 
David Harris (editor). Academic Press, 
London. 

LATZ, PETER. 1995a. Fire in the desert: 
increasing biodiversity in the short 
term, decreasing it in the long term. Pp. 
77-86 in Country In Flames: Proceedings 
of the 1994 Symposium on Biodiversity 
and Fire in North Australia, Deborah 
Bird Rose (editor). Biodiversity Series, 
No. 3, Biodiversity Unit, North 
Australia Research Unit, Australian 
National University, Darwin. 

1995b. Bushfires and Bushtucker: 

Aboriginal Plant Use in Central 
Australia. Institute for Aboriginal 
Development Press, Alice Springs. 

LEVI-STRAUSS, CLAUDE. 1966. The 
Savage Mind (translated by Rodney 
Needham). Wiedenfeld and Nicholson, 
London. 



Australian National University, Canberra. LEWIS, HENRY T. 1982. Fire technology 



HORTON, DAVID. 1982. The burning 



question: Aborigines, fire 
Australian ecosystems. M 
13:237-251. 



and 



HUGHES, CAMILLA. 1995. Fire 
management in the Northern Territory 
post-Mabo: The legal basis for 
Aboriginal burning. Pp. 43-52 in 
Country In Flames: Proceedings of the 
1994 Symposium on Biodiversity and 
Fire in North Australia, Deborah Bird 
Rose (editor). Biodiversity Series, No. 3, 
Biodiversity Unit, North Australia 
Research Unit, Australian National 
University, Darwin. 

HUNN, EUGENE S. 1977. Tzeltal Folk 
Zoology: The Classification of 
Discontinuities in Nature. Academic 
Press, New York. 

JOHANNES, ROBERT E. AND HENRY T 
LEWIS. 1993. The importance of 
researchers' expertise in environmental 
subjects. Pp. 104-108 in Traditional 
Ecological Knowledge: Wisdom For 
Sustainable Development, Nancy 
Williams and Graham Baines (editors). 
Centre for Resource and Environmental 
Studies, Australian National University, 
Canberra. 



and resource management in Aboriginal 
North America and Australia. Pp. 45-67 
in Resource Managers: North American 
and Australian Hunter-Gatherers, 
Nancy M. Williams and Eugene S. Hunn 
(editors). Australian Institute of 
Aboriginal Studies, Canberra. 

1985. Burning the "Top End": 

Kangaroos and cattle. Pp. 21-31 in Fire 
Ecology and Management in Western 
Australian Ecosystems, J. Ford (editor). 
Western Australian Institute of 
Technology, Environmental Studies 
Group Report No. 14, Perth. 



1989. Ecological and technological 
knowledge of fire: Aborigines versus 
park rangers in northern Australia. 
American Anthropologist 91(4):940-961. 

1991. Technological complexity, 

ecological diversity, and fire regimes in 
northern Australia: hunter-gatherer, 
cowboy, ranger. Pp. 261- 288 in Profiles 
in Cultural Evolution, A.T. Rambo and 
K. Gillogly (editors). Anthropological 

of 



no. 



85. 



Museum 



Papers 

Anthropology, University of Michigan, 

Ann Arbor. 

1992. The technology and ecology 



of nature's custodians: anthropological 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



23 



and 



parks. Pp. 15-28 in Aboriginal 



Involv 



Birkhead 



Manderson (editor). Allen and Unw in, 
Sydney. 

1990. The Good Old Rule: Under 



Laurajane Smith (editors). Aboriginal 
Studies Press, Canberra. 



and Other Power Relationship- in a 
Rural Community. Sydney University 
Press, Sydney. 



1994. Management fires vs. PRESS, TONY. 1995. Fire, people, 

landscapes and wilderne^ some 



corrective fires in northern Australia: an 
analogue for environmental change 
Chemosphere 29(5):949-963. 

MCLAUGHLIN, DEHNE. 1978/79. Sites o\ 
Significance — Limmen Bight Claim. 
Records of the Aboriginal Areas, 
Protection Authority, Darwin. 

MEYERS, FRED. 1986. Pintupi Country, 
Pintupi Self: Sentiment, Place and 
Politics among Western Desert 
Aborigines. Smithsonian Institution 
Press and Australian Institute of 



Wash 



Canberra. 



PETERSON, NICHOLAS. 1972. Totemism 
yesterday: sentiment and local 



thoughts of North Australia. Pp, 19-23 
in Country In Flames: Proceedings of (he 
1994 Symposium on Biodiversity tnd 
Fire in North Australia, Deborah Bird 
Rose (editor). Biodiversity Sines, No. 3, 

Biodiversity Unit, North Australia 

Research Unit, Australian National 

University, Darwin. 
PYNE, STEPHEN J. 1991. Burning Bush: A 

Fire History of Australia. Henry Holt 

and Company, New York. 
ROSE, DEBORAH B 1992 Dingo Makes Us 

Human: Life and Land in an Australian 

Aboriginal Culture. Cambridge 

University Press, Cambridge. 



Man 



POINER 



organisation among the Australian WADDY, JULIE. 1988. Classification of 

Plants and Animals from a Groote 
Eylandt Aboriginal Point of View. 
Australian National University, North 
Australia Research Unit, Darwin. 
WARNER, W. LLOYD. 1958. A Black 
Civilisation. Harper, New York. 



in crisis: bushfire in a district of the 
Southern Tablelands of New South 
Wales. Pp. 33-50 in Australian Ways: 

Anthropological Studies of an 
Industrialised Society, Lenore 



Journal of Ethnobiology 16(2):234-256 



Winter 1996 



ABSTRACTS OF PRESENTATIONS 

at the 19th Annual conference of the Society of Ethnobiology 

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 

27-30 March 1996 



Mexican Folk-Art, Alamos, Sonora: ADAMS 



chaeological Center. 



mining town of Alamos in southern Sonora, Mexico, turned 



up some interesting folk-art. Hispanic women and their families in the small 
village of La Aduana are making a wide variety of items, primarily from 
available materials, to sell to tourists. Their crafts include necklaces, brace] 
saries, wreaths, dried flower arrangements, corn husk dolls, carved w 
animals, and insects with innovative wings. This folk-art is both pleasing 
eye and easy on the earth. 



Humans and Mammoths 



nt 



America (keynote address): AGENBROAD, Larry, Dept. of Geology, Quater- 



Mammoths existed on the North American continent from 1.7 million years 

ago to 11,000 years ago. In that interval they radiated— geographically and bio- 
logically ' " - ■ ■ - 



continent 



Humans were contemporary with New World mammoths 



extinction. Were 



in extinction 



stress? 



Aspects of Maize Corn in the Central Mainland of Mexico: ALVAREZ 
1LLO, Carlos, National School of Anthropology and History and RODRIGUEZ 
Juan Manuel, School of Sciences, National Autonomous University of Mexico. 



maize in 



ceremonies 



states: Guerrero, Mexico, Michoacan and Morelos. The main tc 
search was focused were: rites of creation and passage, rain 
offerings to tender and dry ears of corn. Mexican culture was a 
best known bibliographical sources and all the data gathered among contempo- 
rary ethnic groups. Field works consisted in tracking sites where wild 
maize— known as teozintle— is still extant. This sort of maize is considered to be 
the ancestor of our tamed brand of maize. In order to assess the survival of cul- 
tures' values, polls were performed in four states and 201 ears of corn were collected. 
As it happened, all of them were identified as belonging to one or another of eight 
well-defined strains: Maiz Anco, Pepitilla, Conejo, Tuxpeno, Vandeho, 
Cacahuacintle, Conico and Zamorano, as well as two races of teozintle, known as 
Balsas and Valles Altos (Zea mays ssp. parviglumis and Z. mays ssp. mexicana). 

Tribal Horticulture, Maintenance of Biodiversity, and Park Boundary Issues: 

ANDERSON, M. Kat, American Indian Studies, University of California, Los Angeles. 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 235 



Many national parks and protected areas have been designated without re- 
gard to the role that indigenous people played in modifying the landscapes that 
are being preserved: many of these areas do not fit the definition of a pristine, 
unaltered wilderness. Native Americans influenced the structure, composition, 
distribution, and extent of many vegetation types in different geographic regions, 
acting as agents of environmental change through plant dispersal, habitat modifi- 
cation, and genetic modification. They influenced biological diversity in wildlands 
by maintaining ecosystem diversity, patchy environments, and habitats for rare 
and endangered plant species. Several horticultural techniques employed by Cali- 
fornia peoples will be discussed using examples from Southern Sierra Miwok, 
Foothill Yokuts, and Western Mono peoples. These will be compared with examples 
showing the ecological consequences of managing protected areas with a "hands- 
off " approach. It is argued that the folk scientific knowledge of native people is an 
important component which conservation biology has overlooked. Both the ap- 
plication of native wildland management methods and the preservation of 
long-term ecological associations between native people and wildland environ- 
ments are valuable complements to other strategies for preserving biodiversity. 
Indigenous land management and use patterns should be considered when desig- 
nating new park boundaries. 

Seasonality of Catfish Procurement in the American Southwest: ARNTZEN, 
Kristen R, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and SPETH, John D, University of Michi- 
gan, Ann Arbor. 

Recent excavations at the Henderson Site, a small 13th-century AD farming 
village near Roswell in southeastern New Mexico, yielded over 2,000 well-pre- 
served fish bones, including many pectoral spines of the channel catfish (Ictalurus 
punctatus). Studies by wildlife specialists have demonstrated that the season of 
death of catfish can be estimated from the annual growth increments seen in thin- 
sections of the pectoral spines. Analysis of a preliminary sample of the Henderson 
spines suggests that fishing was confined to a relatively brief period in the late 
summer and /or early fall. Seasonality data derived from five other animal species 
(bison, antelope, jackrabbit, cottontail, and prairie dog) yield comparable results, 
indicating that most, and perhaps all, hunting and fishing at Henderson took place 
between approximately early spring and early fall. These results suggest that 
Henderson was occupied for only part of each year probably being abandoned 
shortly after the harvest and reoccupied again the following spring. 

Plant Foods and Ceramic Production: What Can One Tell Us About the Other?: 

ATTARIAN, Christopher J , Dept. of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles. 
Recent disagreements over the degree of political complexity of the Mochica 
culture postulate either a system of local chiefdoms or a developed agrarian state. 
The method of production of staple goods is seen as a variable with which degrees 
of political complexity can be measured. Using a data set of botanical remains at a 
Moche IV- V (AD 500-750) ceramic production site in the Chicama Valley, Peru, 
variation within the diet of craft specialists is correlated to different degrees of 
production intensity Two questions are asked: (1) can seasonal occupation be de- 
termined from the botanical remains? And, (2) are different provisioning techniques 
evident, and if so, can they be correlated to different degrees of management over 



236 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



production by a controlling institution? From this information an association is 
drawn from production to managing institutions to the degree of political com- 
plexity such institutions imply. 

Measuring the Importance of Coast Miwok Use Plants Using the Turner Index: 

BECKWITH, Brenda R, California State University, Sacramento. 

Ethnobotanical research with the Federated Coast Miwok (California) centered 
on a locality of cultural significance. Dr. Nancy Turner's Index of Cultural Signifi- 
cance was modified to measure the importance of plants used. Data were compiled 
from literary sources and from interviews. The abundance of culturally signifi- 
cant plants was determined by vegetation surveys. Combining these approaches 
and resulting data, continuity of plant use was demonstrated and the distribution 
of use plants was mapped. This study has shown that the Turner Index is an im- 
portant ethnobotanical method and can be easily adapted to a diversity of 
contemporary Native peoples. 

The La Venta Olmec Subsistence Project: BRADFORD, Katherine, Dept. of Anthro- 
pology, California State University, Northridge. 

While Olmec art and architecture have received much attention during the 
last half-century Olmec subsistence economies remain poorly understood. This 
project is designed to investigate the development of settlement and subsistence 
patterns in the La Venta support area. Work conducted during 1994 and 1995 re- 
sulted in the recovery of cultural materials dating to the Early and Middle Formative 
periods. A comprehensive sampling strategy, incorporating collection of 50-liter 
samples, was employed. Remains recovered from a house floor include charred 



maize, squash, beans, and palm 



Colorado, Denver. 



Medicinal Plants: BRETT, John A, University of 



intuitively 



medicinal plants in prehistory and by indigenous peoples states that "useful plants" 
are identified through a process of "trial and error." This paper will demonstrate 
the fallacy of this approach. Specifically, deciding which plants are suitable for 
trial, and recognizing an "error" can only proceed when there are cultural criteria 
by which the value or usefulness of a particular plant can be assessed. The value 
or usefulness of a plant is not based on a random process of sampling, but rather 
assessed via a thorough knowledge of the environment and clear expectations on 
what a particular kind of plant should do when consumed or applied in the con- 
text of health, illness, and curing. 

Why Coprolite and Trace Elemental Studies of Mummies Conflict: BREWER, 
Melissa L, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 

The strontium-based trace elemental analysis of Chinchorro mummies from 
Chile indicate that this ancient, preagricultural society obtained 90% of its food 
from the ocean. Previous coprolite analysis showed 50% of the dietary compo- 
nents were from terrestrial plants. An ongoing weight quantification of the 
coprolites attempts reconciliation of these reconstructions. It appears that the au- 
thors of the strontium analysis did not consider that Chinchorro ate mollusk shell 
and fish bone which are high in strontium. It aDoears that visual analvsis of cooro- 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 237 



lites underestimates the contribution of meat because meat is completely digested. 
A realistic dietary reconstruction will result from understanding the biases of dif- 
ferent types of dietary analysis. 

Wild Plum = "Little Peach": A U.S. Southeast Linguistic Trait: BROWN, Cecil H, 
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. 

Across the U.S. Southeast, Native American languages have linguistically ac- 
commodated the European introduced peach by referring to it through use of 
respective terms for the native plum. This has taken the form of marking reversals 
in which native words originally designating plum have shifted in reference to 
peach, with modified (overtly marked) "peach" terms used to denote plum (e.g., 
"little peach" = plum). Marking reversals were motivated throughout the region 
by a radical change in the relative cultural importance of the two referents, wherein, 
the introduced peach surpassed the native plum in salience. Since this lexical flip- 
flop occurs only infrequently and sporadically in other North American languages, 
it is clearly a Southeast areal trait. Its distribution is probably accountable both to 
diffusion (facilitated by area lingua francas such as Mobilian Jargon) and to inde- 
pendent development. 

The Meaning of Maize in Upland Southeast Asia: BURCH, Carmen, Connecticut 
College. 

Introduced to Southeast Asia over 400 years ago, maize has altered human- 
environment relationships and reshaped the economies of swidden cultivators 
throughout the region. Now, often deemed a "native" crop by those who grow it, 
in many cases, maize, not rice, serves as the staple food. It is tempting to interpret 
these transformations in positive terms, as a Southeast version of maize as "en- 
abler"; however, local judgements, as encoded in myth, ritual, and daily practice, 
offer a more eauivocal view of this American plant. Based on field research with 



ToMaki 



meaning of maize in Toraja society. 



a crop synonymous with food and life itself, maize is associated with death. ToMaki 
thinking about maize is a reminder that plants called "foods" have many facets, 



many 



Medicinal Plant Complexes of Mexico 



(Datura) and Arnicas (Heterotheca): BYE, Robert, Instituto de Biologia, U 
Nacional Autdnoma de Mexico (UN AM), LINARES, Edelmira, Instituto d 
UN AM and DELGADO, Guillermo, Instituto de Quimica, UNAM. 

Medicinal plant complexes (groups of taxonomically distinct plants 
similar folk names, forms and purposes of utilization and morphologic 
teristics) probably have similar chemical composition or pharmacologic; 
The dominant taxon (popularly accepted as the most effective) is empl 
side of its area of natural distribution while the other taxa are substitutes 



various skin 



ailments 



skin ailments and to reduce inflammation and are dominated by Heterotheca 



inuloides (Asteraceae). 



238 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



Fish and Fishing at Cuello, Belize: Evidence from the 1990-1993 Excavations: 

CARR, H. Sorayya, Boston University and FRADKIN, Arlene, Florida Museum of Natural 
History. 

Renewed excavations in 1990-1993 at the Maya site of Cuello provide an op- 
portunity to expand upon insights derived from previous work, particularly 
regarding the Middle Preclassic period. New faunal data provide further substan- 
tive evidence for previously suggested changes over the course of the Preclassic in 
the quantity and kinds of fish used by this inland community. In the Middle 
Preclassic, fish was a minor resource procured mainly from freshwater bodies, but 
Cuello already had coastal contacts, as evidenced by the presence of several ma- 



rine species. 



CLEMENT, 



Museum of 



Every scientific discipline defines itself among other things by particular con- 
ts. The history of ethnobiology which spans one century has seen its interest in 
[itional societies shift from utilizations of living organisms, to their classifica- 



same organisms 



accompanied by the use of different concepts either in defining the subject of study 
or in the methods used to gather data and analyse it. With the use of concepts such 
as "knowledge/' "natural history/' "folklore" and the more recent "TEK" for "tra- 
ditional ecological knowledge" and the very seldom "science" to qualify other 
peoples' representations of living organisms, ethnobiology has not really advanced 
in recognizing that other societies can have true sciences. The same conclusion 



examines 
om use su 



// 



species" and "genus" in the West 



taxonomies 



themselves on a Linnean model, new terms which are more and more ambiguous 
and tend to hide the nature of other peoples' ordering systems. If ethnobiology 



ships 



hould leave ethnobiology to ethnobiologists and biology 
relationship to living organisms inasmuch as these relatic 



Farmers' Rights Contingent on Conservation 

fry of California, Santa Barbara. 



rmers 



resources is polarized, with one side arguing for the rights of farmers to their tra- 
ditional folk crop varieties (FVS). It is often implied that farmers have inherent 
rights to their FVs because they conserve this biodiversity within sustainable farm- 
ing systems, and that this is valuable for the world community. Those who disagree 
cite examples of the lack of genetic conservation and sustainability in traditional 
farming systems and the need for rights to genetic resources to be based on West- 
ern, industrial concepts. It is, therefore, important to understand the extent to which 
farmers' rights are or are not contingent on their conservation, the role of FV con- 
servation in sustainable farming systems, and under what conditions farmers do 
conserve the genetic diversity of FVs. Discussion of data and values relevant for 
these issues is important for progress at the FAO Fourth International Conference 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 239 



Diversity later this year. 

Northern Sinagua Diet and Subsistence: An Evaluation of Current Model 



Settlement Pattern: CONRAD 



G., Northern Arizona University. 

Until recently little paleoethnobotanical research had been conducted on diet 
and subsistence among the Northern Sinagua of the post Sunset-Crater eruption 
Angell, Padre, Elden, and Turkey Hill phases in the Flagstaff locality of the Colo- 
rado Plateau. Building on Hunter's research, quantified data obtained from analysis 
of macrobotanical remains from three roughly contemporary habitation sites of 
varying size is used to evaluate competing models of Northern Sinagua 
sociopolitical organization and settlement pattern proposed by Pilles (sedentary 
chiefdom society, hierarchical settlement pattern, intensive agricultural produc- 
tion, complex trade networks) and Kamp and Whittaker (semi-sedentary egalitarian 



hierarchical settlement pattern, mixed 
\ to Diet: CUMMINGS, Linda Scott. Pal 



MAGENNIS 



instructed based on indirect evidence. Human 
preserving a record of food consumed. Dental 



moved from primary and secondary burials at Kichpanha, a lowland Maya 



from 



le, was examined to identify imbedded 
indicators of diet. Kichpanha is a small, 



Giraffe Meets Llama and Wallaroo: Animals in Rock Art on Three Continents 
of the Southern Hemisphere (poster): DEAL, Nan, Santa Barbara Museum of Natu- 
ral History. 

This photographic poster presentation examines the relationships of humans 
with animals among the hunting peoples of Tanzania and Northern Australia 
through their rock paintings, and among the pastoralists of Northern Chile through 
their immense geoglyphs. 

The Biogeography of Mesoamerican Textiles (poster): DeAVILA, Alejandro, Uni- 
versity of California, Berkeley, and SERBO, A.C. 

Spinning, dyeing and weaving represent the most diversified technology in 
the material culture of contemporary Mesoamerican peoples. This paper exam- 
ines the traditional use of textile fibers and dyestuffs of plant and animal origin in 
Mexico and Guatemala in relation to the geographical patterns of biological diver- 
sity in this region. Based on fieldwork in several areas of Mexico and a review of 
the literature, I map out the distribution of fibers and dyes in nine broad sub- 



The number of suedes used in textile manufacture 



magnitude 



the estimated total flora and fauna of each area, and with the number of languages 
spoken there, as a measure of cultural diversity. Two regions stand out in this 
survey: Oaxaca and the Maya lowlands as the areas of respectively greatest and 
lowest diversity. I trace the biogeographic affinities of salient plants used as fibers 
and dyes, and find a greater representation of lineages of neotropical origin than 



240 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



might be expected by chance. In addition to the maps, I include a listing of species 
documented for different regions, and brief descriptions of the traditional use in 
Oaxaca of two plant colorants and a mollusc dye not previously recorded, as well 
as two bark fibers and a wild silk formerly gathered to be netted or woven. 

Developing Curriculum in Ethnobotany: ELOHEIMO, Marja, The Evergreen State 
College, Olympia. 

Students are seeking and educators are designing curriculum in ethnobotany. 
This paper describes one undergraduate level year-long "Series in Ethnobotany." 



includes 

.. ^_ W *..**.■. i^w v^-a vvtiiivuiUl LUIUCIU; VU1UC \J1 Ci ICtLlUllUI 

approach; academic and institutional contexts; role of involvement in community- 
based projects such as campus and museum ethnobotanical gardens, regional 
American Indian basketmakers' gatherings, and a Tribal medicinal native plant 
garden; the addressing of interculrural and environmental complexities; and con- 



instructional 



Maintenance 



rfMichiga 



Eastern Central Portugal contains an area of soft, precambrian shales that have 
eroded into steep-sided hills with sparse soil, very low in nutrients and available 
water capacity, and readily eroded during seasonal rains. In the 13th Century, some 
people left the fertile soils of basaltic origin nearby to settle in these infertile shale 
hills (perhaps to escape plague or economic suppression). The agricultural tech- 



human life for six centuries 



matter, 



laboratory 



months' personal interviews 



Maya Plant Taxonomy 



Merida, Mexico. 
Maya hmeen (a priest-shaman, expert in 



tional knowledge, and healing) in Campeche, Mexico 

Maya definitions of plant gender provide a mechanism for distinguishing 

of similar appearance which grow in the same habitat. The definitions of 



in Maya culture. These characteristics form a set of binary 



human 



similar species, in many cases differentiating plants most useful 
for medicine from those which closely resemble them but are less effective. The 
logic of gendered differentiation extends beyond the cases where the distinction is 
useful m plant medicine to a set of general rules applicable to all plants; however 
m practice, the reference to gender occurs almost exclusively in situations involv- 
ing the procurement of plants for medicine. 



fornia State University, Bakersfield 



rn San Joaquin 



ical research in the Tulare Lake Basin of the Southern San Joaquin 
I California is beginning to provide a picture of early human eco- 
on in this region. Data recovered from lakeside sites containing 
points and other diagnostic early artifacts suggest the inhabitants 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 241 



exploited a broad spectrum of resources. These include a variety of lacustrine spe- 
cies such as fishes, turtles, and birds. Shellfish, although present, do not appear to 
have been utilized. Terrestrial species were also used, and these range from micro- 
mammals to large extinct game, including Bison and Mammuthus. The diversified 
nature of faunal assemblages from these early sites indicates Paleo-Indian diet 
was not unlike that of later opportunistic hunter-gatherers. The lack of shellfish 
suggests it is unlikely that early lacustrine adaptations of Paleo-Indian groups in 
the interior of western North America were a pre-adaptation for coastal shellfish 
exploitation, if these populations later migrated to coastal areas as some scholars 
have suggested. 

A Multi-Cultural Perspective on Prehistoric Agriculture: FISH, Suzanne K., Uni- 
versity of Arizona and FISH, Paul R., University of Arizona. 

As part of a recent archaeological project in central Arizona, five Native Ameri- 
can traditional farmers evaluated the productive potential of a designated study 
area and the prehistoric agricultural remains within it. Because indigenous culti- 
vators did not orninv thp area durine nost-contact times, these consultants came 



from 



affiliations. Although they agreed on aspects of agricultural practice and poten- 
tial, none were able to effectively assess local variables critical to cropping, such as 
the timing of frosts and precipitation. The backgrounds of these individuals also 
differ in social and technological repertoires related to farming. Consultant com- 
ments underscore the importance of highly localized knowledge and suggest factors 



movements 



in 



Knowledge: A Northern Paiute Exampl 



FOWLER, Catherine S., University of Nevada, Reno. 

Without doubt, present-day Northern Paiute people know less about 
natural worlds than did their ancestors. There are some obvious reasons for 
chanees in subsistence and settlement, patterns of knowledge transmission 



remains 



Throueh the analvsis of museum 



and more recent fieldwork, an attempt is made to quantify some of the rates of 
loss among Northern Paiute peoples, and to discuss why some of the data pattern 
as they do. 



Washes 



SMITH, Susan J., Laboratory of 



rizona 



common practice in archaeology to collect pollen from 



make inferences about plant use. Adequate interpretation of poll 
depends upon understanding how pollen becomes deposited on g 
Pollen may indeed be present on edible plant portions, but does it si 
preparation techniques such as roasting and parching? If pollen < 
much would become deposited upon grinding tools? To help ansv 
ries, we conducted a series of experiments designed to provide an 
frame of reference between the processing of various seeds and the 



242 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



We winnowed 



commo 



also processed. The seeds were washed for pollen before and after parching, and 
pollen washes were collected after grinding both raw and parched seeds. The re- 
sults of our experiments are detailed and implications presented regarding the 
interpretation of pollen washes from archaeological grinding tools. 



Water Mussel 



pology, 



American Prairies and Plains: GRADWOHL, David M, Dept. of A 



This presentation discusses the contemporary, ethnographic, historic, and ar- 
chaeological evidence for the use of fresh-water mussel shells as implements in 
shelling green corn. Today, the Mesquakie Indians of central Iowa harvest green 
or "milk" corn in the summer. The corn is parboiled and then shelled off the cob 
by using clam shells collected along the Iowa River. To date, this practice is docu- 
mented for eleven Native American groups in the North American Prairies and 
Plains extending back to the period of first observations by French explorers. Similar 
fresh-water mussel shell artifacts are found along the Des Moines River at archaeo- 
logical sites of the Oneota Tradition (ca. 1000-1200 AD), along with evidence for 
the growing, harvesting, storing, and processing of corn. Comparable objects are 
noted in other Iowa sites, as well as some in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South 
Dakota, and North Dakota. The documentation of this practice for nearly 1000 
years mto the preset is symbolic of the many continuities of Native American di- 



Americans 



milat 



Medicinal Mushrooms: HOBBS, Christopher, Institute for 
The cultural use of fungi for food, medicine, wound 



common 



over 200 species are mentioned as medicinal agents in the Fungi Pharmacopeia. A 
number of fungi were known to the ancient Greeks and Romans for use as medi- 
cines, some of which, such as the "panacea mushroom," Fomes officinalis, were 
official in Western pharmacopeias from the 18th and 19th centuries. Species from 
the family Polyporaceae like Reishi and Maitake, as well as shiitake from the 
incholomataceae are considered cultural treasures in Japan and China. Modern 
medicine has supported the use of a number of immunomodulators in the treat- 
ment of cancer and AIDS, among a host of other chronic diseases. Members of the 
genus Psilocybe and Amanita muscaria, the fly agaric, are used in parts of Europe, 
Mexico, and South America in healing and divinatory rituals. 

tH^Sa*?* Anal y sis of Artidactyl Remains from Tommy Tucker Cave (CA- 
LAS-1): HOLANDA, Kimberley L, California State University, Chico. 

Over the past two decades, the validity of body part representation as a means 
or assessing site function related to strategies of hunter-gatherer subsistence and 
settlement have been both supported and questioned. Artiodactyl remains from 
lommy Tucker Cave exhibit strong patterning in the presence and absence of par- 
ticular elements and element portions. Taphonomic issues, such as density 
mediated attrition and the activity of scavengers, are addressed and dismissed as 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 243 



observed patterning. It is suggested that the Tommy 



mblage reflects decisions ma 



des 



may 



ment, mobility, and hunti 

The Role of Ethnobotany as a Linkage Between the Worlds of Ecosystem Man- 
agement and Native Americans: HOUSLEY, Lucile A., Botanist, Bureau of Land 
Management, Lakeview, Oregon, and HANES, Richard C, Oregon State Archaeologist, 
Bureau of Land Management. 

In the process of the social assessment report for the Interior Columbia Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project, the role of cultural plant uses and recognition of 
plant communities was a starting point for dialog between the Government cul- 
tural land managers and the people living within tribal communities. Ecosystem 
management is perceived by Federal and State land agencies as a hierarchy of 
decision making based on a linear, one-directional model. However, the world 
view of natural resources by traditional American Indians is based on a mutual 
intercausality which can be viewed as an interconnected cycle. The key role that 
ethnobiology played in the process which culminated in a document will be dis- 
cussed, as well as the two-way dialog which has begun to help define future land 
use management. 



Cervid 



mia: HUDSON, Jean, Dept. of 



rsity of Calif ornia , 
anic preservation 



sample of identifiable cervid bone dating betw 



Taxonomic and metric 



California mule 



hemionus). Some of the individual deer are of unusually large size relative to mod- 
em comparative specimens. Local environmental reconstructions suggest possible 
correlation with a period of cooler and wetter climate. Zooarchaeological analy- 
sis, including deer body part distribution, adds to our understanding of the relative 
importance of marine and terrestrial resources in local prehistory, implying a for- 
ager, rather than a collector strategy. 

Salish Narrative Character Speech and Traditional Ecological Knowledge: 

IGNACE, Marianne B., Simon Eraser University and Secwepemc Cultural Education 
Society. 

This paper will demonstrate how the speech of animals and other characters 
in Interior Salish mythical discourse provides a way of encoding and inscribing 
onto collective memory, traditional ecological knowledge about animals, plants, 
the territory, and their interrelationship. While the linguistic and aesthetic aspects 
of character speech have previously been examined, their ethnobiological dimen- 
sion has largely remained unexplored. Drawing on examples from Interior Salish 
narratives, this paper will contribute to our understanding of indigenous forces of 
disseminating traditional ecological knowledge. 



244 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



Gum and Resin Chewing by the Maasai of East Africa: JOHNS, Timothy, McGill 
University, Quebec, and MAHUNNAH, R.L.A., Institute of Traditional Medicine, Tan- 



zania. 



A questionnaire on patterns of chewing of gums and resins from plants was 
carried out with 100 Maasai women and men in Tanzania and Kenya. Eighty-five 
percent of those interviewed chew gums. More than 80% of women and 65% o 
men chew at least once a week. Among the 10 gums and resins identified in th< 
survey, Commiphora africana (osilalei) was preferred by 90% of the persons inter 
viewed. Gums may play a positive role in the lipid metabolism of the Maasai. 

Some Aspects of Marine Subsistence at Shuku, Rincon Point, During 2,000 Years 

of Chumash Occupation: JOHNSON, John R., Santa Barbara Museum of Natura 
History. 



In 1988, an opportunity presented itself for the Santa Barbara Museum 



former 



site of the coastal Chumash town of Shuku. Radiocarbon dating reveals that the 
base of the shell midden dates to about 2,000 years BP. Site occupation spans most 
of the Middle Period and all of the Late Period in Chumash prehistory. Major 
climatic events transpired within this period that have been argued to have led to 
major transformations in Chumash society. This study examines several catego- 
ries of invertebrate and vertebrate remains to reconstruct marine subsistence shifts 
that may correlate with episodes of environmental chanee. 



The 



ogy, University of Edmonton 



JOHNSON-GOTTESFELD, Leslie M., Department of 



domain 'plant' is unmarked. Several broad groupings of the "life form" sort can 
be distinguished. Three of these are large groupings composed of a number of 



maa 



include a diverse mixture of forms ranging from small trees, to perennial 



shrubs. The a 

sively. The remainder are residual taxa which are "empty" containing a few or no 
named subtypes: grass or hay, 'habasxw;' 'leaves,' or herbaceous plants, 'yens;' 
'flowers/ 'majagalee;' moss, 'uumhlw;' and fungi, 'gayda ts'uuts.' Ninety-one 
distinct generics (excluding synonyms) have been documented; 83 represent vas- 
cular plants and eight represent mosses, fungi and lichens. A mixture of 
morphologic and utilitarian characters seem to underlie the system of plant classi- 
fication. The relationship of partonomy to utility and classification is explored. 



Arizona State University, Tempe. 



Management for Sabal uresana: JOYAL 



An ethnoecological approach was designed to assess traditional resource man- 
;ement (TRM) for Sabal uresana, a wild-harvested palm native to Sonora, Mexico. 
irticipant observation and formal interviews identified the following harvest 



limiting 



// 



sparing", controlling harvest times and 



m 



1 patterns of size-class distribution and harvest. Leaf size was 
in unharvested palms. Experimental harvests reduced leaf prod 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 245 



mes: " 



slowing palm growth. A matriz model found lambda >1. Survival, especially of 
the larger size-classes, accounted for ca. 90% of total elasticity. Simulations of ob- 
served harvest response changed the stable-stage distribution. Thus, "sparing" is 
the single most important contributor to long-term population maintenance ("al- 
pha" management). However, leaf harvest practices, while more subtle, affect 
population structure over time ("beta" management). This study provides a model 
for assessing TRM for wild-harvested species and for identifying practices which 
function as de-facto conservation traditions. 

Archaeof aunal Patterns in Rural Gold Rush Mining Communities: An Example 
from Northern California: JUNG, Shannon, California State University, Chico. 

The analysis of the faunal assemblage from Forks of Butte (CA-BUT-854) of- 
fers insights into the economic and ethnic composition of a rural mining community 
during the early period of the California Gold Rush. The faunal remains are part 
of a large refuse dump that was generated by Riley's Inn. The quality of pork and 
beef suggests that members of Forks of Butte had low economic status. The com- 
parison of the Forks of Butte faunal assemblage with assemblages from urban 
Euro- American sites, of the same time period, reveals significant differences in the 
types and proportions of species consumed. The greater proportions of pork and 
chicken, in comparison to beef and duck, are more similar to historic faunal as- 
semblages from urban Chinese sites. 

Unoriginal Overkill?": KAIB, Mark, 
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, BAISAN, Christopher, Labora- 
tory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, and SWETNAM, Thomas, Laboratory 
of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona. 

The extent of anthropogenic effects on ecosystems through use of fire is the 
subject of some controversy. Fire-scar chronologies from a network of 63 sites in 
the Southwestern United States can be used to test the extent of such anthropo- 
genic ecosystem influence. While individual sites display a wide variety of unique 
characteristics, as a whole, region-wide fire synchrony is significantly correlated 
to climate, demonstrating the possible scale of climate-generated ecosystem pro- 
cesses. Some sites display anomalous periods of high fire frequency, which, in 
context with historical ethnographic accounts and fire-climate data, suggest an- 
thropogenic enhancement. Anthropogenic fire patterns must first be resolved at 
specific well-documented sites before larger scale, mountain- to region- wide, eco- 
system influences can be invoked. Site-specific anthropogenic fire patterns will be 
analyzed across several spatial scales to illustrate the possible extent of anthropo- 
genic fire effects. 

Ethnobotanically-Useful Prairie Plants Collected for Anti-Cancer and Anti-HI V 
Compound Testing: KINDSCHER, Kelly, Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kan- 
sas, and MANFREDI, Kirk, Chemistry Dept., University of Northern Iowa. 

We have collected 1 lb of material for 30 ethnobotanically useful prairie plants 
and are subjecting them to anti-HIV and anti-cancer screens. Plants were collected 
in Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota from a list of prairie plants that had me- 
dicinal uses by Native Americans of the Great Plains. Species include: locoweed 
{Astragalus bisulcatus), bush morning glory (Ipomea leptophylla) , and silver-leaf scurf- 



246 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



pea (Psoralea argophylla). Preliminary results suggest that by using plants that have 
a history of medicinal uses, even if those uses are different than the screens (HIV 
and cancer in this case), a higher percentage of positive screens will be found. 

Gardens of Eden: An Ethnohistoric Reconstruction of the Maohi (Tahitian) Cul- 
tivation System: LEPOFSKY, Dana, Dept. of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, 
British Columbia. 

Tahiti, perhaps more than any other Polynesian island, conjures up images of 
a tropical paradise where beautiful people live in a bountiful lush environment 
which readily provided for all needs. This image of Tahitians (Maohi), promul- 
gated by the earliest European explorers in Polynesia, has influenced the way 
anthropologists have characterized traditional Maohi lifestyle. This is especially 
apparent in the reconstruction of the Maohi cultivation system. However, the view 
of a non-intensive cultivation system is at odds with what is known about the 
highly complex Maohi socio-political system of the precontact and early contact 
era. A detailed review of the ethnohistoric literature reveals that the Maohi cultiva- 
tion system was both highly extensive and intensive. Both the coast and inland 
were extensively cultivated by the Maohi. Six cropping subsystems encompassed 
the cultivation of a diversity of taxa and varieties within taxa. Intensive compo- 
nents of the cultivation system include reduced fallow periods, methods to enhance 
fertility, terracing, and the construction of irrigation systems. Labor-intensive gar- 
dens, where crops were raised exclusively for the elite, illustrate the close 



between cultivation and the comolex socio-oolitical svstem 



Maohi 



Maya (poster): LITZINGER, William 



Museo Nacional 



Mexico 



Approximately 1 00 plant species are examined which may have had religious 
importance for the Ancient Maya. Although represented by more than 40 different 
plant families, many of these species have similar morphological features, such as 
very distinctive tubular corollas, hairs, spines, and thorns. Discussion of the hy- 
pothesis that these plants evoke imagery associated with ancient Mayan 

cosmological or religious concepts is based on a consideration nf the snecial mor- 



names, and ethno 



May 



Wash 



ington: MACK, Cheryl, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington, and McCLURE 
Richard, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. 

Among the native peoples of south-central Washington state, berries of the 
genus Vaccinium hold a significant place among traditional foods. In historic times 
the berries were collected in quantity at higher elevation in the central Cascade 
Mountains, and the surplus harvest dried for winter use. Berries were dried alone 



investi 



from a smoldering 



identification of 234 Vaccinium drying features 



feature densities demonstrate extensive protohistori 



Winter 1 996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 247 



upland land use reflecting the economic and cultural significance of the resource. 
Analyses have included archaeobotanical sampling, radiocarbon dating, and iden- 
tification of associated features, incorporating ethnohistoric and ethnographic 
studies. Site investigations shed new light on the importance of montane resources 
to Columbia River peoples. Strategies for future research are proposed. 

Growth Analysis of Five Populations of "Quintoniles" (Atnaranthus spp.) from 
Sierra Norte of Puebla, Mexico: MAPES, Cristina, Jardin Botdnico, Institute de 
Biologia, Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico, DIAZ, Araceli, jardin Botdnico, 
Instituto de Biologia, Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico, and BYE, Robert, jardin 



M, 



populations of green edible amaranths from 



Mixteco 



and 



ruentus L. Mexicano) were cultivated for 149 days under uniform 
Chalco, Valley of Mexico. Plant height, leaf area, biomass, biomass 
i growth rate were measured periodically. A. hybridus and Mexicano 
maximum height more rapidly than Africano, Azteca and Mixteco. 



The 



2 



Mixteco producing the greatest (2.91 m 2 ). Africano and Mixteco allocate 
>% of the standing biomass to reproductive parts 149 days after germina 



while Azteca and Mexicano allocated 18% and A. hybridus 42%. The relative growth 
rate (RGR) was comparable for Africano, Mixteco and A. hybridus with a general 
decline over time. The leaf area quotients (LAQ) for all five populations were at 
their maximum at the beginning of the cultivation and declined to zero at the end 
except Mixteco. The pattern of early biomass allocation for vegetative parts and 
later biomass allocation to reproduction coincided with that of plants selected for 



In 



semicultivated, humans 
by selecting plant 



duce a high proportion of leaves over extended periods of time. 

Patterns of Mollusk Use in a Nineteenth Century Colonial Context: MARTINEZ, 

Antoinette, University of California, Berkeley. 

While relationships between a human culture and associated living organ- 
isms can change dramatically with the arrival of another group, some strategies 
for survival and success may transcend the changes attributed to "cultural differ- 
ences." The comparison of archaeofaunal remains from the nineteenth century 
Native Alaskan Village of Fort Ross and associated Kashaya Porno villages pro- 
vides patterns, contrasts, and points of departure for the discussion of the processes 
of culture change. Supported by extensive archaeological and ethnohistoric data, 
this presentation will focus on the use of, and attitudes towards, mollusks by the 
segments of this colonial population defined herein by ethnicity, gender, and po- 
litical power within a rugged northern California coastal setting. 

Contemporary California Indian Basketry Symposium: Symposium Chair: 
MATHEWSON, Margaret, University of California, Berkeley, WALLACE, Kathy, Yurok/ 
Karuk/Hupa; DQ University, SCHWALEN, Emily, Cherokee; University of California, 
Davis, MANR1QUEZ, L. Frank, Tongva/Ajachemem, Sonoma State University, BATES, 



248 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



Jennifer D., Tuolumne MeWuk; Chairperson, California Indian Basketweavers Associa- 
tion, UNZUETA, Gilbert, Chumash; Oakbrook Park Chumash Interpretive Center; and 
PARKER, Julia, Miwok/Pomo; Yosemite National Park. 

Contemporary California Indian basketweavers maintain a close relationship 
with native plants. This symposium will outline some of the issues faced by col- 
lectors in the modern landscape including access rights, land development, 
spraying of herbicides and pesticides, museum and archival research, and the re- 
vitalization of fading traditions. The presentation will begin with a slide show of 
fiber plants in California. 



Story 



MEHTA.M 



India Chapter. 



In 



to heavy demands on it by human as well as cattle populations, efforts were made 
in the past to reforest through plantations of only economically important species. 
In the process, rich flora which provided medicinal plant products of great thera- 
peutic value in the Traditional Health Care System were being lost, as no efforts 
were made to plant other than two or three timber species. The therapeutic values 
and uses are mentioned in ancient Indian treatises written in 1600-3000 BC. The 
rejuvenation effort was carried out with people's participation, and 125 species 
with known therapeutic values and uses were selected for planting in 27,000 hect- 
ares of forest in the watershed of a river valley in western India. The success of 
plantations is visible, and within three years of the work, 15 species of trees were 
seen to regenerate naturally — a phenomenon not seen in the degraded forests in 



with 



The 



tion of the author's work in the field, as a forester with 34 years of experience. 

Archaeological Investigations of Fish Remains at Ancient Lake Cahuilla: E 
dence for Lacustrine Adaptation of Endemic Colorado River Fishes (post* 
MOFFITT, Linda R., Dept. of Anthropology, University of California, Riverside, a 
MOFFITT, Steven A., Dept. of Anthropology, University of California, Riverside. 



The remains of native Colorado River 



twenty 



recently investigated along the shoreline of desiccated Lake Cahuilla, in the 
Coachella Valley, Riverside County, California. The fish elements collected sup- 
port evidence obtained at thirty-one additional Lake Cahuilla sites for the 
predominant presence in the lake of two of the five known native Colorado River- 



ine 



The essentiallv exclusive presence of these two 



m the archaeological assembla 



prehistory. 



these riverine species to a warm-water lacustrine environment in 



Ethnoherpetological Knowledge: Marine and Desert Reptil< 
afts Promotion and Environmental Education: NABHAN, C 
mora Desert Museum, ROSENBERG, Janice, University of 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 249 



ROMERO, Pedro, Seri Tribal Governor, and LAWLER, Howard, Arizona-Sonora Desert 
Museum. 

The Seri Indians of Sonora, until recently, depended upon marine and land 
reptiles to meet a significant portion of their dietary needs; reptiles were also im- 
portant symbols in art and religion. Over the last three decades, sea turtle 
populations in the Sea of Cortez and desert tortoises on the Sonoran mainland 
have dramatically declined; however, desert tortoise and chuckwalla densities re- 
main high on Tiburon and San Esteban Islands, where the Seri are biosphere reserve 
managers. At the request of the tribal governor, we collaborated with the Seri el- 
ders to develop a primer for Seri schoolchildren focusing on the cultural 
significance, natural history and economic importance of these reptiles so that 
traditional knowledge and values could be reinforced in a school setting. In addi- 
tion, we have promoted Seri carvings of desert and marine reptiles, a craft which 
acknowledges the Sens' distinctive ethnobiological knowledge. 

Las Aves en el Pensamiento Teotihuacano y Maya: NAVARIJO ORNELAS, Lourdes, 
Instituto de Biologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. 

Son estudiadas las aves que figuran en la pintura mural prehispanica del sitio 
de Teotihuacan en el Valle de Mexico, asi como las plasmadas en los muros de 
cinco sitios mayas de la Republica Mexicana. El objetivo de esta presentacion es el 
de dar a conocer a la riqueza de especies utilizadas como objetos culturales en el 
lenguaje pictorico, lo que nos provee, en primer termino, de valiosa informacion 
biologica. En segunda instancia, nos acerca a las formas de pensar de estos pueb- 
los, en razon de que en cada una de las escenas pictoricas se puede leer el papel de 
las aves como simbolos para expresar y perpetuar ideas y conceptos que denuncian 
la existencia de mecanismos de asociacion entre los eventos naturales y los 
culturales que influyeron en la vida de los teotihuacanos y mayas. 

(Birds in Teotihuacano and Mayan Thought) 

(Birds depicted in prehispanic mural painting from the site of Teotihuacan in 
the Valley of Mexico were studied, as well as the wall frescoes of five Mayan sites 
in the Republic of Mexico. The objective of this presentation is to give an idea of 
the richness of species utilized as cultural objects in pictorial language, which firstly 
provides us with valuable biological information. Second, we address the thought 
processes of these communities, since in each of the pictorial scenes one can read 
the role of birds as symbols to express and perpetuate ideas and concepts that 
indicate the existence of mechanisms of association between natural and cultural 
events that influenced the lives of the Teotihuacanos and Mayas.) 



/., University of Nebraska 



Discrimination of Maize and Bison in the Central Great 

en A., University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and REINHARD, Karl 

, Lincoln. 

Plains, bison and maize are two main sources of C4 signal 

in historic and prehistoric diet. As part of repatriation analysis sponsored by the 
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, stable carbon and stable nitrogen analyses were con- 
ducted of Omaha skeletons dating between 1780 and 1820. Analysis of collagen 
alone indicated a change in diet, probably reflecting increased meat consumption 
over time. Analysis of bioappetite clearly shows that the historic diets of the Plains 



250 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



were reliant on bison meat. The value of appetite analysis in diet reconstruction 
has been accepted only in the last two years. This analysis shows that such studies 
are especially useful in distinguishing C4 plant versus C4 meat signals in archaeo- 
logical bone. 

Taproots, Taboos and Transformations: PEACOCK, Sandra L., University of Victoria, 
British Columbia, and TURNER, Nancy J., University of Victoria. 

Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata, Asteraceae) figures prominently in tradi- 
tional lifeways of the Salishan-speaking people of the interior of British Columbia. 
It was a dietary staple, a powerful medicine and a spiritual helper. Clues to the 
cultural significance of balsamroot lie in its chemical constituents and the manner 
in which these are transformed through culturally prescribed practices. In this 
paper, we examine the nutritional and medicinal properties of this taprooted pe- 
rennial and discuss the methods used to transform it from a low-use plant into a 
highly-valued resource. 

Without Willow: Replacement Patterns and stylistic Outcomes in Western Mono 
Basketry: POLANICH, Judith, Hearst Museum, University of California, Berkeley. 

Prehistoric migrations brought Mono peoples from the east to the west flank 
of California's Sierra Nevada, into a new biotic environment. Essential Owens 
River willow species were no longer available for use in twined basketry and the 
Mono chose replacements from chaparral species abundant in their new home. In 



reconstruct how the Western Mono 



which replaced the rinarian willows. These 



materials 



caused a stylistic revolution in baby cradles, essentially creating what w 
know as Western Mono twined basketry. 

The Dynamics of Chinampa Agriculture: A Middle Postclassic Case 

POPPER, Virginia S., Institute of Archaeology, University ofCalifornia, Los An t 
Chinampa farming, the system of raising fields in the swampy lakes 
Basin of Mexico, has long been recognized as a remarkable form of intensrv 
culture. The study of plant remains from a Middle Postclassic (AD 115( 
Chinampa settlement in Lake Chalco illustrates that chinampa farming wa 
namic system, varying according to natural and cultural conditions. 

Which Came First— The Cowboy or the Tumbleweed?: PUSEMAN, Kathryx 
Research Labs. 

Russian thistle (Salsola sp.), also called tumbleweed, is noted in botanic 
ture to have been introduced into North America around 1873 or 1874; ho 



Wyoming 



from prehistoric archaeological sites in 



from a hearth at Site 5WL1794 



The two charred seeds were 



ty of California Radiocarbon Laboratory for AMS dating. These two 
prehistoric radiocarbon date, providing a strong argument for the 
ative Salsola in North America orior to the 18(lfk intrnHnrtinn 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 251 



"He Never Paid Them for Their Acorn Trees": Conflicts over Gathering Rights 
in the Yosemite Valley in the Late 19th Century: RAYMOND, David, San Fran- 
cisco State University. 

After the Yosemite Valley was made a park in 1864, some of the indigenous 
Ahwahneechee Miwok continued to live there, surviving by working in the tour- 
ist industry, and by hunting and gathering. In 1869, the Yosemite park manager 
banned "cutting oak limbs" to harvest acorns. The Ahwahneechee responded that 
he had never paid them for the Valley, nor for the trees. What did the park man- 
ager hope to accomplish by this restriction? Why did the Indians respond by 
asserting their land rights in the Valley? The answers to these questions illustrate 
the difficulties of using historical accounts as sources of ethnobotanical informa- 
tion. 

Can Ethnobiology Really Contribute to Alleviating Native American Diabetes 
in the Plains?: REINHARD, Karl J., University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 



function with the Omaha 



king 



This work is done in consort with medical professionals and medical 



the 



premise that diabetes had a three 



patterns, and genetics. Gradually there has been the realization that the disease 
also relates to erief . familial relations, self-esteem, and an ill-defined factor termed 



// 



In the context of these findings, the applied roles of ethnob 



archaeology are assessed. 



Marsh. Western 



Reno. 



RHODE, David, Quaternary 



Flooding in Stillwater Marsh in the early 1980s exposed a rich archaeological 
record of marshside habitation in the Carson Sink, western Nevada. Excavations 
at one site, 26CM062, revealed numerous archaeological features, including the 
remains of at least two probable houses. Flotation analysis of nineteen features 
from the site resulted in the recovery of abundant plant remains. These remains, 
coupled with recent analyses of plant remains in coprolites from nearby Hidden 
Cave, provide new clues into the use of marsh plant resources in the Carson Sink. 

Bracken Fern: Collection, Processing and Management for Sustainable Yields 
of Basket Materials (poster): RUCKS, Meredith, Heritage Program, Lake Tahoe Basin 
Management Unit, USDA Forest Service, with KIZER, Mrs. Marie, Washoe Elder, JACK- 
SON, Mrs. Teresa, Washoe Elder, MARTINEZ, Mrs. Joanne, Washoe Elder, and CONWAY, 
Mrs. Florin, Washoe Elder. 



This poster exhibit 



Service and Washoe participants to identify 



gathering and management of traditional plants would be desirable. Washoe 

including master basket makers, soon focused on Meeks Bay which in- 

an extensive meadow accessible to them but restricted from use by the 

public. Although the meadow includes many plant resources of interest, 



252 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



the basket makers were intent on locating stands of bracken fern with thick, s 
rhizomes. The exhibit will describe the micro-habitat of desirable bracken ai 
zome collection and processing by Washoe Elders. The exhibit will also 
information on bracken ecology and use from others in order to better d< 
the ecology of basket bracken and design a long-term study of the effects o 
ering practices and plant tending for achieving and maintaining rhizome atti 
sought by basket makers. 

A Model of Indigenous Botany: SALMON, Enrique, The Baca Institute of 



botany. 



t/ healing paradigms will 



cosm 



the plant are four 



plant-human relationship. These aspects include mental, physical, social, and spiri- 
tual relationships to the plant. The aspects are anchored by cultural history, identity, 
language, land base, and beliefs of the particular culture. Traditional indigenous 
people synthesize all these aspects and anchors to each other and to the plant in 
order to construct a paradigm of the plant world: an indigenous botany. The in- 
digenous botany will be presented as a model by which ethnobotanical researchers 
can compare their perceptions of the particular cultures they study. An indigenous 
perception of the botanical world is necessary in order to fully comprehend the 
distinct intricacies of the plant-human relationship. 

Evaluating the Toxic Health Hazards to Native Californians Engaged in Tradi- 
tional Environmental Management Activities (Mathewson symposium): 

SCHWALEN, Emily, Ecology Dept., University of California, Davis. 

Conventional exposure risk assessment has been proposed for use in evaluat- 
ing the toxic health hazards to Native Californians engaged in traditional 
environmental management activities. Certainly, the present loading of pesticides 
and other toxics has altered the potential health risks for traditional gatherers and 
basketweavers from those that were experienced in precolonial times. For those 
Native Californians that are actively involved in cultural recovery activities, these 
risks should be known and reduced wherever possible. Cultural survival of the 
invaluable environmental knowledges and skills of Native Californians requires 
the physical health and survival of these individuals. While some of the risks as- 



similar 



farmworkers, many 



gatherer exposure are quite different. There 
erers, such as continued dermal contact and ingestion of collected materials 
extended periods of time, that are quite different from worker exposure, 
gathered materials include materials used for textiles, food, medicine, fuel 
ceremony. These complex routes of exposure from multiple sources must be 



estimates 



assessment 



. This approach could be productive for indigenous cultural 
involved in cultural revival among similarly threatened groups 



ems 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 253 



Ethnomedicinal Studies in Ladakh (Little Tibet): SHARMA, G.K., Dept. of Biol- 
ogy, University of Tennessee . 

Ladakh is one of the most secluded parts of the enigmatic Himalayas. Fur- 
thermore, its medicinal flora and the indigenous system of medicine — the Amchi 
system — remain shrouded in the forbidding elevations of this arid and vast pla- 
teau. The area under investigation — the restricted region of Shyok and Nubra 
Valleys adjoining Siachen glacier in Ladakh — faced dereliction in the past. It is, 
therefore, a virgin site for ethnobotanical studies of the local flora. The present 
study attempts to investigate the ethnomedicinal lore of the area, known for its 
remoteness and inaccessibility. The area ranges from 4,000 to 7,000 meters in el- 
evation and lies at 35°20' to 36°10' North Latitude and 78°20' to 82°10' East 
Longitude. 

Crop Population Size and In Situ "Conservation" for Farmers' Needs: SOLER1, 
Daniela, Arid Lands Resource Sciences, University of Arizona. 

In traditionally based agricultural communities, farmer selection and man- 
agement have combined with natural selection to produce crop landraces or folk 
varieties. In many of these communities there are trends toward reductions in the 
number of household farming, number of varieties of a species being grown, area 
of land cultivated, and area devoted to folk varieties. These changes raise ques- 
tions about the size of remaining folk variety populations and their structure and 
diversity. Locally adapted population structure and genetic diversity are recog- 
nized as contributing to the success of these varieties in meeting low-input farmers' 
needs. The purpose of this paper is to use current theoretical insights into the 
effect of small population size on plant populations to investigate, hypothetically, 
the effect of the sort of reductions listed above on the genetic diversity present in 
folk variety populations. 

Recent Results in Identification of Residues and Adhesives from the South- 
western Great Basin: STAGEY R.J., Dept. of Archaeological Sciences, University of 
Bradford, United Kingdom, HERON C, Dept. of Archaeological Sciences, University of 
Bradford, SUTTON, Mark Q., Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, Calif 



Bradford 



Bakersfield, and FOX A., Dept. of Archaeological Sciences, University of 



Ethnographic data on the use of natural products as adhesives and sealants is 
sporadic and unspecified. Recent results of continuing work on the chemical iden- 
tification of amorphous deposits surviving on stone tools, ceramics, and perishable 
artifacts from various archaeological sites in the southwestern Great Basin are re- 
ported. Materials identified include lac resin, pinyo pitch, and a combination of 
the two. Implications for aboriginal technology are discussed. 

An Update on the Vegetal Cordage from Bayou Jasmine, Louisiana: STANDIFER, 
Marie S., Dept. of Plant Biology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, KUTRUFF, 
Jenna Tedrick, School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University, and TUCKER, Shirley 
C, Dept. of Biological Science, University of Calif or nia , Santa Barbara. 

In ongoing investigations of the vegetal cordage from the Bayou Jasmine site 
in Louisiana, examples of braided cordage, fiber strands, and plant parts have 
K^r, **,,A\i~t a ^ku^^a mAi^arh*™ Hafo nf 1600-1292 BC makes the cordage 



254 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



one of the oldest textile remains in the Southeast. Technical analysis of cordage 
specimens provided information about the fiber strands and the techniques used 
in braid construction. The botanical analysis revealed that the fiber strands were 
made from the roots of a monocotyledonous plant, probably a grass or sedge, 
which had not previously been reported as a fiber source. DNA analysis is being 
attempted as a possible aid in identification. 



Economic 



Karen B., Biology Dept., Linfield 



In this paper, I trace the development of an economic / ethnobotany course at 
a private liberal arts institution of 1500 students. I describe the challenges I faced 



in a curriculum 



boundaries 



ethnobotany 



my 



needs of students from several disciplines. I discuss the challenges I faced in fo- 
cusing on the four Willamette Valley "plant cultures"— agriculture, horticulture, 
silviculture, and viticulture (an economic botany approach). At the same time, I 
tried to reflect on the value and meaning of plants in modern and indigenous 
human cultures in the valley and elsewhere (an ethnobotanical approach). I share 
these challenges and strategies in the spirit of support for others wishing to de- 
velop such a course and encouragement for practicing economic and ethnobotanists 
interested in developing texts, lab manuals, and other curriculum materials or in 
offering workshops and seminars for the purpose of sharing their expertise with 
the wider community of educators. 

Quemado Alegre: Explorations of Detail, Scale and Comparability: TOLL, Mollie 
S., Museum of New Mexico, and McBRIDE, Pamela }., Museum of New Mexico. 

LA 5047, located in the Mogollon Highlands of Western New Mexico, is a site 
with remarkable interpretive riches, deriving largely from special preservation 
conditions. The site includes a pitstructure which burned while still in daily use 



abundant botanical remains in 



during 



tures, tools, and containers which structured their everyday use. This study relates 
a variety of experimental methods developed to recreate burn conditions and ex- 
tract details of routine subsistence chores. Working with this assemblage forced 
consideration of questions of scale and comparability of floral data recovered un- 
der very different preservation circumstances, in local open sites and dry shelters, 
and farther afield under diverse climatic and soil situations. 

Documenting Plant Knowledge of the Secwepemc of British Columbia: A Col- 

J., University of Victoria, British 



Quebec 



Marianne B., Secwepemc Cultural Education Society fS 
I, Ronald, SCES / SFU, NICHOLAS, George, SCES I 
I V, Centre for Nutrition and the Environment oflndigeno: 



The Secwepemc Ethnobotany Project, ongoing since 1990, has aimed to docu- 
ment the traditional plant knowledge of these interior Salish peoples of southern 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 255 



British Columbia. Their territory is extensive and ecologically diverse, e 
ing grasslands, forests, and montane ecosystems, and many specialize 
all of which are integral to Secwepemc life. This paper explores the coi 
tionships among various aspects of plant knowledge and use, including 



settlement 



medicine syst 



In a Pig's Eye: Javelina Complications of Coprolite Identification: VINTON, Sheila 
Dorsey, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 

Determining the origin of the feces is the first obstacle encountered by copro- 
lite analysts. Several techniques have been developed to determine human origin. 
In practice, these are primarily "hands-on" evaluations of pre-rehydration mor- 
phology, rehydration color, rehydration smell, and content. Recently, purported 
"human" coprolites from Arizona were submitted for analysis. The coprolites were 
morphologically consistent with humans, and rehydration characteristics were not 
unusual. However, the analysis of the contents revealed an unusual dietary pat- 
tern most consistent with javelinas. It is clear from this experience that 
archaeologists and analysts must be familiar with the javelina feces to prevent 
collection of spurious data. 

Out of Africa: The Impact of Millets in South Asia: WEBER, Steven A., Washing- 
ton State University, Vancouver. 

When do millets first appear in South Asia? How important were they in the 
rise and collapse of Harappan Civilization? Previous analysis of millets has been 
based on scant evidence, meaning that the true significance of millets has not been 
recognized. Using new data, this paper will explore the role these plants played in 
early civilizations in South Asia. This new evidence indicates that not only were 
African millets introduced not all at once but over a long period of time, begin- 
ning prior to the third millennium BC, but it is their integration into well-developed 
subsistence systems in the second millenium BC that is closely associated with 
significant socio-political change. 

Prehistoric Pinniped Exploitation at Two Sites at Point Arguello, California: 

WILLIAMS, Christopher, Dept. of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Bar- 
bara. 

There is a debate in the archaeological literature concerning whether or not 
the prehistoric coastal inhabitants of California and Oregon routinely exterminated 
mainland pinniped populations early in prehistory. One side of the debate argues 
that pinnipeds were driven to offshore refuges, and coastal hunter-gatherers de- 
veloped watercraft to continue the profitable exploitation of these animals. Data 
heretofore presented in this debate is inconclusive. New faunal data from two 
long-inhabited prehistoric sites near Point Arguello, California, indicate the in- 
habitants obtained pinnipeds locally on the mainland coast throughout prehistory. 
Even though some overhunting in the Point Arguello area may have occurred, it 
does not appear that local mainland populations were ever permanently elimi- 
nated. The author has concluded that the Point Arguello inhabitants never had to 
travel to the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, or trade with island inhabitants to 
procure pinnipeds. 



256 



ABSTRACTS Vol. 16, No.2 



Herbal Remedies and Cures in Mexico: WILLIAMS, Nancy, Dept. of Anthropology, 
University of Calif ornia , Santa Barbara. 

This project compares and contrasts the use of herbal remedies through auto- 
biographical accounts of childhood illnesses as experienced by women who live 
in and around the Colonia La Esperanza, Tiiuana. Most grew up in rural Mexican 



medicine. Examined 



memories of symptoms, remedies 



almost every illness. Many of these women currently use the same 



This study highlights the significant 



continue to plav in this econom 



ering of bio-medical 



Consequences of Overexploitation on the Leeward and Virgin Islands: WING, 
Elizabeth S., Florida Museum of Natural History. 

Evidence for overexploitation of some animal resources accompanies human 
population increases during prehistoric times in the Leeward and Virgin Islands. 
Those animals most affected are land crabs and carnivorous reef fishes. This is 
despite the fecundity of land crabs that can produce a million eggs a year and the 
legendary productivity of coral reefs. Compensation for the decline of these re- 
sources is seen as a shift to relatively greater use of hermit crabs, intertidal mollusks, 
herbivorous and omnivorous reef fishes, and land vertebrates such as mice and 
small birds. Options not taken were expansion of the pelagic fishery or more in- 
tensive husbandry of introduced animals. 

Bison and Wapiti Exploitation in Eastern Beringia during Late Pleistocene / Early 
Holocene Times: YESNER, David R., University of Alaska. 

Archaeofaunal data from the Broken Mammoth and Mead sites in the Tanana 
Valley of east-central Alaska, as well as from the Dry Creek site in the nearby 
Nenana Valley, suggest that Bison priscus and Cervus cf . elaphus were the two most 
important large mammal species hunted during the late Pleistocene and early 
Holocene of eastern Beringia. Current data suggest that obligatory browsers in- 
cluding Equus and Mammuthus may have become extinct by ca. 12,000 BP, concident 
with, or immediately preceding, initial human occupation of the region. At the 
same time, there is increasing evidence that bison and wapiti persisted regionally 
into late Holocene times (ca. 3,000 BP). Evidence from artifacts, features, and butch- 
ering pattern studies suggests that Broken Mammoth and other early sites were 
seasonal camps for the primary processing of large mammals, birds and fish, and 
the subsequent caching of meat as well as retransport to secondary villages. Sea- 
sonality studies of both mammalian and avian fauna from these sites suggests 
primary fall / winter utilization, consistent with similar "overlook" sites on the 
Plains in which bison were hunted in areas blown free of snow. Studies of contem- 
porary bison {Bison bison) in the area, while taxonomically distinct, may offer 
important analogies for reconstructing late Pleistocene / early Holocene subsis- 
tence patterns in eastern Beringia. 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 257 



NEWS AND COMMENTS 



// 



Unity and Diversity in Ethnobiology 



H 



Society of Ethnobiology 
20th Anniversary Conference 

March 26-29, 1997 

at the 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Georgia, Athens, GA 



CONTACT: 

Bryan LaBau 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Georgia 

250 Baldwin Hall 

Athens, G A 30602-1619 

USA 



Phone: (706) 542-1433 

FAX: (706) 542-3998 

E-Mail: lbryan@uga.cc.uga.edu 



: $60 ($70 after February 14, 1997) 
tration: $45 ($55 after February 14, 1997) 
information about rates for Native American 



American 



•stracts must be received by January 15, 1997. Individual presentations 
and symposium proposals are encouraged on all interdisciplinary research that 
explores past or present relationships between humans and living organisms. The 
primary author or presenter must be a member of the Society of Ethnobiology. All 
attending authors must register for the conference. Papers are limited to 15 min- 
utes. 

Wednesday, March 26: Board of Trustees and Editorial Board Meetings; Evening: 
Welcome reception and registration at the Museum of Natural History 

Thursday, March 27: Oral and poster sessions; Plenary Session; Reception 

Friday, March 28: Oral and poster sessions; Business Meeting; Evening: Banquet 
($26), awards and entertainment 

Saturday, March 29: All Day Field Trips: Ocmulgee National Monument ($26, in- 
cludes lunch) or Tallulah Gorge State Park ($26, includes lunch) 



258 NEWS AND COMMENTS Vol. 16, No.2 



Make checks or money order payable to Ethnobiology 
Ethnobiology Conference Chair, Department of Anthroi 



Room 



Visit 



want acknowledgment 



http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu.anthro.events.ethno.htm 



INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MEDICINAL PLANTS 

MEDICINAL PLANTS FOR SURVIVAL 



From 16 to 20 February, 1998, there will 



Medicinal 



. f — _ _ 

Studies, Indian Institute of Science Campu 



The central theme of the conference is Medicinal 



1 his conference seeks to bring together people from diverse disciplines wh 
are concerned about the future of medicinal plants and are keen to forge viabl 
forms of regional and international cooperation that will influence policies am 
promote strategic action. Participants will share experiences, approaches and stral 
egies pertammg specifically to medicinal plants, related to the following areas: (1 
Conservation Action (in situ & ex situ); (2) Databases; (3) National Conservatio] 
1 oiicies; (4) Community oriented applications in context of Primary Health Care 
(5) Domestication & Cultivation; (6) Trade & Small Enterprise Development; (7 
Contributions of Indigenous Knowledge Systems; and (8) Traditional Knowledg 
& Resource Rights. The conference will bring to bear a new level of analysis anc 
an immediate action program following the conference. 

The expected outcomes of the conference are: (1) Guidelines for design of na 



medicinal 



networking of medicinal plant conservation 



amongst medicinal 



primary 



nan, indigenous knowledge systems, and traditional knowledg 
For more information, contort- Fr»imHa«™ (^ d^m^i;„i; . 



No. 50, 2nd Stage, MSH 




tfrlht.ernet.in 



mail 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



259 



THREATS TO THE WORLD'S BIOCULTURAL DIVERSITY 



Maffi, Institute of Cognitive Studies, 608 Barrows Hall, U Califo 
»; phone: (510) 643-1728; fax: (510) 6435688; e-mail: majfi@cogsc 



[Report on the working conference 



// 



Know! 



Environments 



— j * — — — — 

1996. To appear in "Conference Call" column, Anthropology Newsletter, Febru 



ary 1997.] 



international 



came together at U California, Berkeley for the working conference "En- 



Knowledge, Endangered Environments 



m 



ethnobiology, cultural geography, economics 



from linguistics to anthropol 



and ecology, along with natural resource conservationists, cultural advocates, and 
representatives of indigenous peoples. The meeting was called to explore the com- 
plex connections between cultural and biological diversity, the interrelated causes 
and consequences of loss of both forms of diversity, and the role of indigenous 
and minority languages and of traditional knowledge in biocultural diversity 
maintenance and the promotion of sustainable human-environment relationships. 
Participants also discussed plans for integrated research, training, and action in 
this domain. 

Diversity Loss on Earth. — In their respective fields, these various communities 
of researchers and activists have been calling attention to the dramatic effects of 
rapidly occurring global processes of socioeconomic and ecological change on the 
very objects of their concerns: human cultural and linguistic groups and their tra- 
ditional knowledge; biological species; and the world's environments. An 
ever-growing body of literature on endangered languages, vanishing cultures, 
biodiversity loss, and ecosystems at risk is accumulating, attesting to the perceived 
gravity and urgency of such issues. Underlying these concerns is a common inter- 
est in the future of humanity and of life on earth. However, communication all 
across these fields of endeavor has been slow in developing. The conference was 
conceived to begin to fill this gap. 

Links Between Biological and Cultural Diversity. — Conference participants first 
established theoretical common ground by considering notions of biological di- 
versity and diversification, on the one hand, and linguistic and cultural diversity 
and diversification, on the other, and outlining analogies and discrepancies be- 
tween these different manifestations of the diversity of life. They heard reports 
about the comparable magnitude and pace of the current extinction crises affect- 
ing biological species and human languages, and examined evidence of remarkable 
overlaps between global mappings of the world's areas of biological megadiversity 
and areas of high linguistic diversity. The possible factors accounting for these 
correlations were discussed in light of issues of human-environment coevolution 
and in terms of various ways that have been proposed by ethnobiologists and 



260 NEWS AND COMMENTS Vol. 16, No.2 



human ecologists in which cultural diversity might enhance biodiversity or vice 
versa. In this perspective, the need to address the foreseeable consequences of 



massive 



noted. 



correlation between low-diversity cultural systems and low biodiversity 



endemism emerged as of particular relevance in talking 
linguistic diversity, from the point of view 



threatened status of species or languages endemic to a single region — or even worse, 
a single country, making them extremely vulnerable to the vagaries of national 
sociopolitical and economic processes. Linking the two forms of endemism, a no- 

endemism" was proposed, underscoring the local nature 



environmental knowledge and its comparable vulnerability by 



same 



concerning indigenous and local peoples' knowledge 



knowledge and 
vironment Cas in 



ystematically and corn- 



affirmed 



In describing the structural and functional deterioration that characterizes 
processes of language loss, linguists pointed to the various levels at which such 
processes can and do affect the maintenance of traditional environmental knowl- 
edge—from loss of biosystematic lexicon to loss of traditional stories and other 
forms and contexts of communication. The role of various factors of cultural change 
and acculturation, such as schooling and migration, were explored. Cognitive psy- 
chologists provided new evidence about processes of folkbiological knowledge 
devolution in societies that have moved away from direct contact with nature, 
although such processes were shown to be less straightforward than earlier stud- 
ies had suggested. 

Numerous case studies were presented on issues of language and knowledge 
loss and the interactions between cultural and biological diversity, spanning Af- 
rica, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, and covering both indigenous and other 
local groups, such as migrants, and exemplifying a variety of linguistic stocks and 
of modes of subsistence, from hunting and gathering to agriculture. Several pre- 
sentations also illustrated patterns of cultural and linguistic resistance and 
knowledge persistence, as well as efforts to revitalize languages and cultures that 
had gone extinct, with a special focus on maintaining or recovering and newly 
applying knowledge about traditional resource management practices. Finally, a 



aimed at biocultural conservation, as well 



international initiatives 



ty of local communities 



were seen as inextricably linked 



common 



in this connection. New economic models, b 
ological framework, were orooosed as the 



text in which humanity at the end of the millennium could strive to achieve 
sustainability and maintain biological and cultural diversity. 

Future Directions.— While participants agreed in recognizing the 
interconnectedness of biological, cultural and linguistic divprsitv. a shared need 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 261 



was felt for better, more fine-grained ways to define and identify diversity, espe- 
cially linguistic and cultural diversity. As measured in broad outline, as is 
traditionally done in the mapping of the languages and culture areas of the world, 
the two forms of diversity do not yield a good fit, although linguistic diversity is 
often used as a proxy for cultural diversity. Contradictory results are thus arrived 
at when biological diversity is cross-mapped onto one or the other. The consensus 
was that a much higher level of resolution, at the level of individual communities, 
or even subsections of communities, is required to identify cultural variation rel- 
evant to the study of biocultural diversity correlations, i.e., variation reflecting 
specific local adaptations; and that comparable detailed work needs to be done on 
linguistic variation. The crucial importance of working in close contact with other 
colleagues in interdisciplinary teams was stressed, as was the need for interdisci- 
plinary teaching and training. Issues of funding for interdisciplinary research, as 
well as for applied work aimed at returning the results of research to local com- 
munities and at fostering grassroots biocultural conservation efforts, were also 
discussed. A "white paper", containing conference participants' recommendations 
at these various levels, is in preparation, as are one or more publications based on 
the conference, and an informational /educational video (in collaboration with 
documentary filmmaker Steve Bartz). An extensive set of background readings, 
prepared by the conference organizer, is also available upon request. 

The conference was organized by Luisa Maffi (Institute of Cognitive Studies, 
U California, Berkeley), and funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthro- 
pological Research, the UNESCO /WWF-I/Kew Gardens "People and Plants 
Initiative", and UC Berkeley's Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Office of 
the Deans of Letters and Sciences, and Institute of Cognitive Studies. It was spon- 
sored by the NGO "Terralingua: Partnerships for Linguistic and Biological 
Diversity", and co-sponsored and hosted by UC Berkeley's Department of Inte- 
grative Biology and University and Jepson Herbaria. Participants were: Scott Atran, 
William Balee, Herman Batibo, Benjamin Blount, Stephen Brush, Ignacio Chapela, 
Greville Corbett, Alejandro de Avila, Margaret Florey, David Harmon, Jane Hill, 
Leanne Hinton, Eugene Hunn, Dominique Irvine, Willett Kempton, Manuel 
Lizarralde, Ian Saem Majnep, L. Frank Manriquez, Gary Martin, Douglas Medin, 
Katharine Milton, Brent Mishler, Felipe Molina, Denny Moore, Gary Nabhan, James 
Nations, Johanna Nichols, Richard Norgaard, Christine Padoch, Andrew Pawley, 
Mark Poffenberger, Darrell Posey, Eric Smith, D. Michael Warren, Stanford Zent. 
The participant's affiliations, biographical sketches, and conference abstracts, as 
well as other information about the conference, can be found at the following two 
WWW sites: 

http://uqeps.berkeley.edu/Endangered_Lang_Conf/Endangered_Lang.html 
http://cougar.ucdavis.edu/nas/terralin/home.html 



262 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol . 1 6, No . 2 



BOOK REVIEWS 



Americas Gave the World. Nelson Foster and Linda 
i: The University of Arizona Press, 1992. Pp. v; 191. 



$13.95 (paper), $24 



The essays found in this book originated from a public symposium held in 
1988 at the California Academy of Sciences. This volume covers the general themes 
of crop domestication, diffusion, and diversity. This is similar to many books pub- 
lished around the quincentennial anniversary of Columbus' journey to the 
Americas. Specifically, the chapters apply these themes to tomatoes, potatoes, 
amaranth, vanilla, beans, chili peppers, maize, cacao, quinoa, and some lesser 
known Andean tubers. The contributors to this volume are as varied as the plants 
discussed. Disciplines include botany, history, anthropology, natural history, di- 
plomacy, art and writing. Therefore, the perspectives and the quality of the chapters 
varies as well. For instance, the well known maize researcher, Walton C. Galinat, 
does an excellent job of describing the domestication and diffusion history of corn. 
The chapters on amaranth and little known roots of the Andes, though, are a bit 
esoteric. 

Other shortcomings of the book include the complete absence of maps, photo- 
graphs, and citations in the body. This book appears to be written for the general 
audience, so photographs of crops that are often unknown to the general public 
would be useful. The lack of maps is also disturbing given the geographic nature 
of many of the chapters. It is extremely frustrating not to find citations in the body 
of the chapters. There is a "further reading" section at the end of the book, but this 
does not make up for the lack of detailed citations in the body itself. The absence 
of these useful tools gives the reader the impression that the publishers or the 
editors sought a low-cost, low-labor text. 

Although this book does not break any new ground in the discussion of New 
World plant domestication or diffusion, it is useful because it synthesizes a great 
deal of historical geographical material on several important plants in a single 
volume. Another strong point is that it discusses in detail the botanical history of 
some important plants in a single volume. Another strong point is that it discusses 
in detail the botanical history of some important, although lessor studied, domes- 
ticates, such as vanilla. Because of this, it would be a useful volume to include in 
the library of anyone interested in ethnobotany and cultural ecology. However, 
because of the lack of maps, citations, and photographs, and the esoteric approach 
some of the authors employ, it would not be my first when seeking a text on New 
World domesticates or on the historical geography of crop plants. Instead, works 
such as those by Sauer(1993), Viola and Margolis(1991), and Heiser(1985;1990) give, 
overall, more thoughtful and thorough treatments of the subject. 



Winter 1996 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



263 



LITERATURE CITED 



HEISER, CHARLES B. 1985. Of Plants and 
People. University of Oklahoma Press, 
Norman. 

HEISER, CHARLES B. 1990. Seed to 
Civilization: the Story of Food. Harvard 
University Press, Cambridge, 
Massachusetts. 



SAUER, JONATHON D. 1993, Historical 
Geography of Crop Plants. CRC Press, 
Boca Raton, Florida. 

VIOLA, HERMAN J. and MARJOLIS, 
CAROLYN (editors). 1991. Seeds of 
Change. Smithsonian Institution Press, 
Washington D.C. 



Michael K. Steinberg 
Department of Geography and Anthropology 

Louisiana State University 
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 



icultural Origins and Development in the Midcontinent. W. Green (editor). 
Iowa City: Office of the State Archaeologist, the University of Iowa, Report 19, 

1994. $15.00 (softcover). Po. vi: 188. TSBN 0-8741 4-090-0 



he study of the origins of agriculture in the Western hemisphere, the c 
whether plant domestication and animal husbandry were initiated 



America 



maize) some 



This volume makes 



aiding a good synthesis of our current knowledge of the 
between native peoples and plants in the Midcontinent 



Wisconsin, and Kentucky. 

Most of the eight papers in this volume were origin 



Missouri) 



annual Midwest 



in 



indicates that most 



information in the volume 



approximate 



The paper bv Richard 



// 



Investigations Relevant to the Native Devel- 



opment of Plant Husbandry in Eastern 



True 



// 



knowledge, divided into 



development 



>es a growing consensus since the mid 1980s, rein- 
forced by other papers in the volume, that plant domestication and husbandry 

developed independently in eastern North America well before the introduction 
of corn. 

David Asch's paper, "Aboriginal Specialty Plant Cultivation in Eastern North 
America: Illinois Prehistory and Post Contact Perspective/' notes that the oldest 
remains of Cucurbita spp. from eastern North America in a cultural context are of 
pepo gourd, dated ca. 5000 B.C. in west-central Illinois. Kristin Gremillion's pa- 



264 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.2 



// 



// 



// 



per, "Evidence of Plant Domestication from Kentucky Caves and Rockshelters, 
notes that the Cloudsplitter and Newt Kash shelters in Kentucky have provided 
the earliest securely data thin-testa chenopod (Chenopodium berlandieri) in eastern 
North America at ca. 1500 B.C. Rock shelters in Kentucky have also yielded evi- 
dence of domesticated sumpweed (Iva annua) ca. 900 B.C., and sunflower 
(Helianthus annuus) ca. 1000 B.C. Gayle Fritz's paper, "In Color and In Time: Pre- 
historic Ozark Agriculture," reports that reexamination of materials collected in 
the 1930s from rock shelters in the Ozarks along with radiocarbon dating has es- 
tablished a 2500 year span of prehistoric Ozark agriculture, with domesticated 
sumpweed, sunflower, chenopod, and squash seeds stored as early as 1200 B.C. 

James Gallagher and Constance Arzigian, in a paper titled "A New Perspec- 
tive on Late Prehistoric Agricultural Intensification in the Upper Mississippi Valley/ 
challenge the dominant view of midwestern Archaeologists that agricultural com- 
ponent of the late prehistoric Oneota culture was nonintensive. They argue that 
the commonly accepted definition of intensification, which emphasizes surplus 
economic production and related social structures, is culturally biased, and sug- 
gest that the strategy of diversification, in which cultivated crops represent one of 
multiple food source, was used by the Oneota as an effective means for reducing 
the risk of food shortages. 

The paper by Neal Lopinot, "A New Crop of Data on the Cahokian Polity, 
provides an interesting example of the subtle cultural bias in archaeological inter- 
pretations of prehistory. The Cahokia site, located in the American Bottom of 
southwestern Illinois, is often pointed to as a prime example of the degree of "civi- 
lization" attained by Native North Americans. Relatively recent archaeological 
work has shown that the "florescence" of the Cahokia polity (Early Stirling 
subphase) lasted only about 50 years (A.D. 1050 to 1100), and followed by "de- 
cline" during the Late Stirling subphase (A.D. 1100 to 1150). With stone-age 
technology, the weakness of non-sustainable intensive agricultural systems ap- 
parently exerts itself very quickly. The Cahokian culture reduced the diversity of 
diet by clearing oak-hickory forest to make way for poly cropping of maize and 
four starch seeds: maygrass {Phalaris caroliniana), little barley {Hordeum pusillum), 
chenopod {Chenopodium berlandieri), and Erect knotweed (Polypodium erectum). 
Archeobotanical evidence for the following Moorehead phase indicates a return 
to normalcy with increased incidence of nut shell and starchy seed, in addition to 
greater diversity and evenness among crop residues. 

Jane Buikstra, Jerome Rose, and George Milner, in a paper titled "A Carbon 
Isotopic Perspective on Dietary Variation in Later Prehistoric Western Illinois, 
indirectly shed further light on the Cahokian "florescence." Although this paper 
focuses on the use of carbon isotope data to evaluate the importance of maize in 
the diet during the period A.D. 1000 to 1400, 1 was most struck by the incidental 
data that were provided on the Early Stirling subphase burials at the Cahokia 
Mound 72. The classification of burials from which the bone carbon isotope mea- 
surements were taken include: (1) high status; (2) mixed sex sacrifices; (3) charnel 
house (late adolescent and young adult females sacrifices); (4) female sacrifices; 
(2) mixed sex sacrifices; (6) headless (and handless) male sacrifices. That the 
Cahokian florescence was characterized by oppressive social structures is under- 



// 



Winter 1 996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 



265 



scored by dental and carbon isotope data suggesting a different region of origin 
and poorer health status of female sacrifices. My own reading of the archaeologi- 
cal and archaeobotanical evidence presented by Lopinot and Buikstra et al. is that 

LL% *—. * — I— — . _ # I 1 _ 1 • ^ m m ^ l — 



sustainable 
Oneota. 



w culture 
environmen 



would recommend this book for anyone wh 
i American agricultures, or in the prehistory 



Russell Boulding 
Boulding Soil-Water Consulting 

4664 N. Robs Lane 
Bloomington, Indiana 47408 



Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Concepts and Cases. J 

(Editor). Ottawa, Ontario: International Program on Traditk 
Knowledge, International Centre, 1993. $19.95 Can. (softcovc 
ISBN 0-88936-683-7. 



No doubt long ago we were all well-versed in traditional ecological knowl- 
edge (TEK). Yet over the years, with each 'rational' leap we took in the name of 
Western Science, our ability to 'intuit/ or to access deeply held knowledge, steadily 
withered and lay forgotten along the way. For the many of us who need our memo- 
ries refreshed on TEK, editor Julian T Inglis has put together a valuable volume 
for this end. Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Concepts and Cases is a remarkable 
collection of 13 papers, 12 of which were presented at the Common Property Con- 
ference, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, in September 1991. Also 
held in conjunction with the Conference was the International Workshop on In- 
digenous Knowledge and Community Based Resource Management. The paper 
presented in Chapter 2 is the Workshop's Keynote Address, by Chief Robert Wavey. 

In the introductory chapter, Fikret Berkes establishes a solid framework for 
the content of the text. He arrives at a working definition of TEK and concisely 
outlines the ways in which it differs from Western Science, Berkes emphasizes 
TEK's practical significance for science, resource management, environmental as- 
sessment, protected areas, conservation education and development planning. As 
well, he advises a show of appreciation for the cultures that hold this knowledge 
and suggests that TEK be considered as complementary to Western Science, not as 
a replacement for it. 

In the second article, Chief Robert Wavey of the Fox Lake First Nation, north- 
ern Manitoba, identifies TEK as an important cornerstone of Aboriginal 
self-government. He notes that the government planners and resource developers 
often overlook the distinction between two types of TEK: that which is instinc- 
tively adaptive and acquired over a relatively short period of time; and that body 
of TEK, which is accumulated over many generations and for specific lands. As a 
result, unfortunate cultural and ecological consequences for the Aboriginal people 



often 



ensue. 



266 



BOOK REVIEWS Vol. 16, No.2 



Kenneth 



involved in the transmission of TEK. The 



contains a good comparison of the traditional education system of the inhabitants 
of Guara Island in the Orinco Delta of Venezuela with that of the residents of 

Pukapuka Island in Polynesia. 

In the fourth paper, Robert E Johannes outlines the four essential frames of 
reference for the gathering and organizing TEK information in a usable manner 
for environmental impact assessment. Johannes refers to these as taxonomic, 
spatial, temporal and social. The article also contains some insightful comments 
regarding the attitudes of researchers to TEK, as well as on TEK proprietary 

issues. 

In Chapter 5, Nancy Doubleday discusses Western legal and scientific frame- 
works and the current attempts to accommodate the TEK framework to the 
mainstream by way of common property and co-management approaches. She 
states that even where accommodation does occur, it does not happen easily. 
Doubleday introduces the consideration of TEK as an element of a worldview 
rather than instrumental knowledge and argues that natural law offers common 
ground for the inclusion of TEK. 

Andre Lalonde (Chapter 6) presents four superior case studies from Africa 
which illustrate the utilization of TEK in sustainable development-related issues. 
Likewise in Chapter 7, Miriam McDonald and Brian Fleming discuss how the de- 
velopment and management of a northern Canadian Inuit community-based 
eiderdown industry successfully incorporated TEK into the decision-making and 
management processes. 

The eighth paper, by Carl Hrenchuk, directly outlines the divergent viewpoints 
which exist between the state and northern Manitoba Native communities regard- 
ing the use of northern land, resources and property. Hrenchuk emphasizes the 
need to connect differing sets of ecological knowledge and to recognize and rec- 
oncile the fundamental conflict between common and communal tenure. He also 
includes five superb maps, which cover the South Indian Lakes location, and Cree 
hunting and trapping travel routes, as well as their prime areas significant to wild- 
life harvest, commercial fishing sites and community toponyms. 

Terry Tobias (Chapter 9) writes of the disparities which occur between Native 
wildlife harvesting data gathered by government-sponsored development con- 
sultants and that accumulated by members of the Metis community of Pinehouse 
in northern Saskatchewan. He successfully presents a strong argument for the need 
to include indigenous knowledge in planning processes to avoid misinformation 
concerning the northern Native economy. 

In Chapter 10, Douglas Nakashima demonstrates that the TEK of the Inuit 
will often outstrip conventional science when it comes to knowledge about many 
Arctic wildlife species. Using a case study from three Inuit communities in south- 
eastern Hudson Bay, Nakashima gives a thought-provoking account of the totality 
of Inuit knowledge regarding Hudson Bay Eiders. He compares this with the frag- 
mented data obtained by biologists and wildlife management decision-makers. 

Peter Usher (Chapter 11) describes the achievements and problems of one of 
the earliest indigenous/ state co-management Boards in North America. The pri- 
mary concern of the Board surrounds the management of the Beverly and 



Winter 1996 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 267 



Kaminuriak caribou herds, which range between the Nor 
Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Although the Board members 



has still not been adequately utilized. 



points 



Hanbidg 



otner look at co-management and TEK, this time in conjunction with the Inuvialuit 
land claims settlement in the Western Arctic Region of the Northwest Territories. 
Five resource co-management bodies exist to implement the wildlife provisions of 
the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA). The authors present an excellent outline of 
the functions of a co-management system, discuss the activities of several IFA co- 
management bodies, and assess their effectiveness and that of the IFA as a total 
system. 

In the final chapter (Chapter 13), Einar Eythorsson explores reasons why the 
integration of TEK and formal scientific knowledge is often difficult to achieve in 
management of common property resources. Eythorsson examines the conflict 
existing between small scale Sami fjord-fishermen, who employ a wide range of 



Norwegian state fisheries managers 
ind migrating stocks of cod. In com 



Julian Inglis has done an admirable job of editing 



knowledge 



which 



practical aspects of TEK. Nevertheless, I feel that the coverage of one of the most 
important components of TEK has been for the most part overlooked. In our writ- 
must begin to acknowledge and discuss the spiritual foundation and truths 



form the essence of TEK. If we continue to omit 

more readily accepted by the scientific community our gain 



makes 



in it. 



what it is, we merely expand the scientific paradigm 



Judith D. Mitchell 
Department of Anthropology 

University of Victoria 

Victoria, B.C. 
V8W 2Y2 



NOTICE TO AUTHORS 

The Journal of Ethnobiology' s revised "Guidelines for Authors" appears in Issue 16(1) on pp. 124- 
127. If you need a copy of these Guidelines you may request a copy from the Editor. Careful 
scrutiny of recent issues of the Journal should provide appropriate stylistic models for any 
manuscript you may wish to submit. 



Those 



copies and one copy on a high density 3.5" diskette in IBM-compatible or Apple format with 

original camera-ready figures. Manuscripts submitted in inappropriate style and format will be 
returned. 



Manuscripts in English should be sent to: 



if Ethnobiology 



Department of Anthropology 

Box 353100, University of Washington 

Seattle, WA 98195-3100 USA (hunn@u. washington.edu) 



Manuscripts in Spanish should be sent to: 

ALEJANDRO de AVILA B., Associate Editor 

journal of Ethnobiology 

Department of Anthropology 

University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA 

(deavila@qal.berkeley.edu) 



NEWS AND COMMENTS 

Information or commentary intended for the "News and Comments" section of the journal should 
be sent in the same form as for articles to: 

GARY J. MARTIN, News and Comments Editor 

journal of Ethnobiology 
People and Plants Initiative, B.P. 262, Marrakesh-Medina, MOROCCO 

(100427.1260@compuserve.com) 



BOOK REVIEWS 



We welcome suggestions on books to review or actual reviews from readers of the Journal. If you 
submit a book review for consideration please send two hard copies and one on diskette. Send 
suggestions, comments, or reviews to: 



TURNER 



)f Ethnobiology 



Environmental Studies Program, P.O. Box 1700, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2 

CANADA (njturner@sol.uvic.ca) 



SUBSCRIPTIONS 

Subscriptions to the Journal of Ethnobiology should be addressed to Gayle J. Fritz, Department of 
Anthropology, Campus Box 1114, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130-4899 USA. Subscrip- 
tion rates are $60 for institutional subscriptions; $25 for students; $35 for regular individual 
subscriptions except for Latin America, for which subscriptions are $25. Joint members (with 
spouse, receiving a single copy of the Journal) pay $35. For postage outside of the USA, Canada, or 
Mexico, add $8. Make checks payable to the Journal of Ethnobiology. Defective or lost copies will be 
replaced if a written request is received within one year of issue. For information on back issues 
contact Cecil Brown, Department of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115 
USA, (815) 753-0246. 



CONTENTS 



ETHNOBIOTICA v 



AUTHOR PROFILES vii 



PREHISTORIC SMALL GAME SNARE TRAP TECHNOLOGY, 
DEPLOYMENT STRATEGY, AND TRAPPER GENDER DEPICTED IN 
MIMBRES POTTERY 

- 

Brian S. Shaffer, Karen M. Gardner, and Barry W. Baker 145 



ETHNOICHTHYOLOGY OF GAMBOA FISHERMEN OF SEPETIBA BAY, 
BRAZIL 

VilmaA. Paz and Alpina Begossi 157 



THE SYMBOLISM OF JAKALTEK MAYA TREE GOURD VESSELS AND 
CORN DRINKS IN GUATEMALA 

Carol Ventura 159 



CATEGORIES OF FAUNAL AND FLORAL ECONOMIC RESOURCES OF 
THE NATIVE COMMUNITIES OF THE PERUVIAN AMAZON IN 1993 

Leslie A. Brownrigg 285 



INDEX TO KEY WORDS: VOLUME 6, NUMBER 1 THROUGH VOLUME 
15, NUMBER 2 

Jennifer Sepez 212 



SHORT COMMUNICATION 

Trevor N. Howard 






224 



ABSTRACTS OF PRESENTATIONS 234 

NEWS AND COMMENTS 257 

BOOK REVIEWS 262 




JOURNAL 



w 





ETHNOBIOLGGtf 















■ 









f 



* 



> 






■> 




Raramuri Necklaces -Adams and Salmon 



Essence and Appearance in 

Folk Biology -Atran etal. 



Traditional Nahua 

Coffee-Orchards -Beaucageefa/. 



Ethnobotanical Plot Surveys 

in Brunei —Bernstein, Ellen, and Antaran 



Plants in the Ch'a Chaak Ritual, 

Yucatan —Salvador Flores and Kantiin Balam 



Rardmuri necklace 



'°lume 17, Number 1 Summer 1997 



JOURNAL STAFF 

EDITOR: Eugene S. Hunn, Department of Anthropology, Box 353100, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 

98195-3100 (hunn@u.washington.edu) 
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Brian VanHoy, Department of Anthropology, Box 353100, University of Washington, 

Seattle, WA 98195-3100 (bvanhoy@u.washington.edu) 
ASSOCIATE EDITOR (Spanish): Alejandro de Avila B., A. P. 533, Oaxaca, Oaxaca C.P. 68000, MEXICO 

(serbo@antequera.com) 

NEWS & COMMENTS EDITOR: Gary J. Martin, People and Plants Initiative, B.P. 262, Marrakesh-Medina, 

MOROCCO ( 1 00427. 1 260@compuserve.com) 
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR: Sandra Peacock, Department of Geography and School of Environmental Studies, 

University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2 CANADA (speacock@office.geog.uvic.ca) 



SOCIETY OFFICERS 

PRESIDENT: Nancy J. Turner, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2 CANADA 
PRESIDENT-ELECT: Deborah M. Pearsall, American Archaeology Division, University of Missouri, Columbia, 

MO 65211 

SECRETARY/TREASURER: Gayle J. Fritz, Department of Anthropology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 



63130-4S99 



CONFERENCE COORDINATOR: Mollie S. Toll, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES 

Karen R. Adams, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez, CO 
Eugene N. Anderson, University of California, Riverside, CA 
Gail Wagner, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 

Ex officio 

Past presidents: Steven A. Weber, Amadeo M. Rea, Elizabeth S. Wing, Paul Minnis, Cecil Brown, and 

Catherine S. Fowler. Permanent board member Steven D. Emslie. The editor, president, president-elect, 
secretary /treasurer, and conference coordinator. 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Karen R. Adams, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez, CO: paleoethnobotany. 
Eugene N. Anderson, University of California, Riverside, CA: ethnobotany, China, Maya. 
Scott Atran, CNRS, Paris, FRANCE: etlmobiological classification, cognition, history of science, Maya. 
Brent Berlin, University of Georgia, Athens, GA: etlmobiological classification, medical ethnobotany, Maya. 
Robert A. Bye, Jr., Jardin Botanico, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, D.F., MEXICO: ethno- 
botany, Mexico. 

H. Sorayya Carr, El Cerrito, California: zooarchaeology . 

Nina Etkin, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI: medical ethnobotany, the Pacific. 

Gayle J. Fritz, Washington University, St. Louis, MO: paleoethnobotany. 

David R. Harris, University College, London, ENGLAND: ethnoecology, subsistence systems, archaeobotany. 



AUSTRALIA 



Afi 



logy, 



Harriet V. Kuhnlein, McGill University, Quebec, CANADA: ethno/human nutrition, First Nations of Canada. 
Brien A. Meilleur, Center for Plant Conservation, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO: ethnoecology, plant 

conservation, ethnobotanical gardens. 

Gary Nabhan, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ: ethnobiology, Sonoran desert cultures. 

Darrell A. Posey, Oxford Centre for the Environment, Ethics, and Society, Oxford University, Oxford, ENGLAND. 

natural resource management, ethnoecology, tropical cultural ecology. 
Amadeo M. Rea, San Diego, CA: cultural ecology, zooarchaeology, ethno taxonomies. 
Elizabeth J. Reitz, University of Georgia, Athens, GA: zooarchaeology. 
Mollie S. Toll, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM: prehistoric and historic ethnobiology. 

The Journal of Ethnobiology is published semi-annually. Manuscripts for publication, information for the "News and 

Comments" and book review sections should be sent to the appropriate editors as listed on the inside back cover of 
this issue. 



© Society of Ethnobiology 

ISSN 0278-0771 



COVER ILLUSTRATION: Contemporary Raramuri (Tarahumara) necklace (necklace #8) of castor bean and coral 
bean seeds, with a Virgin of Guadalupe pendant of carved pine bark. 






Journal of 
Ethnobiology 



VOLUME 17, NUMBER 



1 









^ 



ss* 






SUMMER 1997 



Advertising Information 



Journal of Ethnobiology 



published by the Society of Ethnobiology 



Mailing Instructions: All initial advertising contracts and correspondence should be sent to 



Secretary /Treasurer 

Society of Ethnobiology 

Gayle J. Fritz 

Department of Anthropology 

Campus Box 1114 

Washington University 

St. Louis, MO 63130-4899 

Phone: (314) 935-8588 

Fax: (314) 935-8535 

E-mail: gfritz@artsci.wustl.edu 



Insertion orders and camera ready copy should be sent to 



Editor, Journal of Ethnobiology 

Eugene S. Hunn 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Washington 

Box 353100 

Seattle, WA 98195-3100 

Phone: (206) 543-6825 

Fax: (206) 543-3285 

E-mail: hunn@u.washington.edu 



CONTENTS 



ETHNOBIOTICA v 



AUTHOR PROFILES vii 



RARAMURI NECKLACES: A RAPIDLY CHANGING FOLK-ART FORM IN 
THE SIERRA MADRE OCCIDENTAL OF NORTHERN MEXICO 

Karen R. Adams and Enrique Salmon 



1 



GENERIC SPECIES AND BASIC LEVELS: ESSENCE AND APPEARANCE 
IN FOLK BIOLOGY 

Scott Atran, Paul Estin, John Coley, and Douglas Medin 17 



INTEGRATING INNOVATION: THE TRADITIONAL NAHUA COFFEE- 
ORCHARD (SIERRA NORTE DE PUEBLA, MEXICO) 

Pierre Beaucage and the Taller de Tradicion Oral del CEPEC 45 



THE USE OF PLOT SURVEYS FOR THE STUDY OF ETHNOBOTANICAL 
KNOWLEDGE: A BRUNEI DUSUN EXAMPLE 

Jay H. Bernstein, Roy Ellen, and Bantong bin Antaran 69 



IMPORTANCE OF PLANTS IN THE CH'A CHAAK MAYA RITUAL IN THE 

PENINSULA OF YUCATAN 

Jose Salvador Flores and Jesus Kantun Balam 



97 



RECENT DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS OF INTEREST TO 

ETHNOBIOLOGISTS XIV 

Terence E. Hays 



109 



ABSTRACTS OF PRESENTATIONS at the 20th Annual Conference of the Society of 
Ethnobiology, University of Georgia, 26-29 March 1997 H 9 

NEWS AND COMMENTS 133 



BOOK REVIEWS 

Hunting the Wren: Transformation of Bird to Symbol, 

by Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence 

E. N. Anderson 



67 



The Animal World of the Pharaohs, by Patrick F. Houlihan 

E.N.Anderson 135 



Wild Men in the Looking Glass: The Mythic Origins of European Otherness, 

by Roger Bartra, Translated by Carl Berrisford 

The Artificial Savage, by Roger Bartra, Translated by Christopher Follett 

£. N. Anderson 136 



Myths and Tales of the White Mountain Apache, by Grenville Goodwin 
Christine Makosky, Sean Michael Daley , Elaine Joyal 138 

Local Knowledge and Agricultural Decision Making in the Phillippines: 

Class, Gender, and Resistance, by Virginia D. Nazarea-Sandoval 

Christopher J. Healey 140 

COMPACT DISK REVIEW 

Secwepemc Kus (We are the Shuswap), Secwepemc Cultural Education Society 

Plantas Medicinales de Mexico: Usos y Remedios Tradicionales (Medicinal 

Plants of Mexico: Uses and Traditional Remedies), Centro de Tecnologia, 

Electronica e Infomatica (CETEI) 

John Brett 141 



BOOKS FOR REVIEW 145 



SHORT COMMUNICATION 

Vegetables, Roots, and Wisdom in Old China 

Eugene N. Anderson 



147 



ETHNOBIOTICA 



For openers I would like to recognize the efforts of my current editorial 
assistant, Brian VanHoy, a graduate student in the fledgling Environmental 
Anthropology program at the University of Washington. Brian brings considerable 



com 



me 



He plans to apply techniques for assessing ethnobotanical diversity d< 
Bernstein, Ellen, & Antaran in this issue of the Journal of Ethnobiology 



fellowship 



master the intricacies of PageMaker 



camera 



time 



ethnobiology 



my 



latecomer to ethnobotany. However, my last two research projects - comprehensive 
ethnobiological accounts of Sahaptin in the Pacific Northwest and of Mixtepec 
Zapotec here in Oaxaca - have inclined me to the view that the botanical side of 
the field is the more elaborated in many, perhaps most, of the cultural settings in 
which we have worked. At least, this is the case among peasant agricultural peoples. 
In Mixtepec Zapotec, for example, I have so far recorded ca. 650 ethnobotanical 
taxa but only some 375 ethnozoological taxa, with vertebrates quite thinly detailed. 
If we calculate "Scientific Species Recognition Ratios" for plants and animals - that 
is, the ratio of the number of folk taxa recognized to the number of scientific species 
that occur in the local region - we find that the SSRR for plants is about 0.6 while 
that for vertebrate animals is closer to 0.3. In other words, they classify plants at 
twice the level of discrimination they apply to vertebrate animals. (The number of 
invertebrates is impossible to estimate, but would certainly yield a much lower 
SSRR.) Why this discrepancy in favor of plants? One obvious explanation suggests 
itself: peasant farmers are far more dependent on plants than animals for food, fuel, 
materials, and medicines, plus they have hunted out the larger fauna from the 
vicinitv of their villaees. Of course, this answer implies a strong correlation between 



techno 



that peasant 



performed the comparative work required to prove this hy 
farmers will emphasize plants over animals to a greater degree than will hunter- 
gatherers, forest horticulturalists, or urbanites - but it does seem that reported 
ethnozoological inventories for non-peasant societies are the more highly 
elaborated. A systematic comparison along these lines would pro vide an interesting 
test of the controversial "utilitarianist heresy" (see Brent 
Classification, Princeton University Press, 1992, pg. 3ff). One 
time at the moment to pursue. 



Berlin 



Yours, 





AUTHORS IN THIS ISSUE 




rA«\eiV' 



f 



fa 




KAREN R. ADAMS and ENRIQUE SALMON 
Karen R. Adams is director of Environmental Archaeology 
at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado 
and a private consultant in archaeobotany. Her research in 
the southwestern U.S. and elsewhere focuses on ancient 
subsistence strategies and the inter-relations of humans and 
their environment. She is on the Board of Trustees /Direc- 
tors of the Society of Ethnobiology and the Baca Institute 
of Ethnobotany and is Adjunct Professor of Anthropology 
at Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada. Enrique Salmon, 
of Raramuri heritage, is director of the Baca Institute of Eth- 
nobotany in Crestone, Colorado. He has an M. A.T. in south- 
western studies from Colorado College and is completing 
doctoral studies in ethnobotany at Arizona State University. 
He is on the Board of Directors of Native Seeds /SEARCH, 



Ethnobotanical 



Indigen 








w 



S**ljg: 



¥ m 



SCOTT ATRAN, PAUL ESTIN, JOHN COLEY, and 
DOUGLAS MEDIN 

Scott Atran (above right) is a cognitive anthropologist at 
the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, 
France (CREA - Ecole Polytechnique) and Research Scien- 
tist in Anthropology and Visiting Professor in Psychology 
at The University of Michigan. Recent writings focus on the 
cognitive foundations of scientific and folk biology, particu- 
larly on developments in lowland Maya natural history. 
Paul Estin (below) is a doctoral student in Cognition and 
Perception Psychology at the University of Michigan with 
interests in categorization, inductive reasoning, judgment, 
and decision making. John D. Coley (above left) received 
his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the Univer- 
sity of Michigan in 1993 and is currently a Postdoctoral 
Research Fellow in Cognitive Psychology at Northwestern 
University. He uses cross-disciplinary approaches to study 
how humans categorize and reason about plants and ani- 
mals, how these processes change over the lifespan, and 
how they are influenced by context. Douglas Medin (above 
center) is professor of Psychology at Northwestern Univer- 
sity and co-director of Northwestern's Program for Cogni- 
tive Studies of the Environment. He is a cognitive psycholo- 
gist whose general interests include concepts and classifi- 
cation learning, mental models, reasoning, and decision 
making. He is currently working with Scott Atran in a study 
of ethnoecological knowledge and reasoning and its rela- 
tion to management of common-pool resources among 
Maya and mestizo populations of Guatemala and Mexico. 




PIERRE BEAUCAGE and TALLER DE TRADICION 
ORAL DEL CEPEC 

Pierre Beaucage teaches anthropology at l'Universite de 
Montreal. He is currently engaged in long-term research 
among the Nahua of the Sierra Norte de Puebla, Mexico. 
His interests focus on the ecological, economic, and cogni- 
tive dimensions of Indian cultures. The Taller de Tradicion 
Oral del CEPEC includes ten Nahua Indians and two Mes- 
tizos and is devoted to the collection and publication of oral 
traditions. It was established in 1980 in San Miguel 
Tzinacapan, Municipio of Cuetzalan, Puebla, at the initia- 
tive of a local schoolteacher, Alfonso Reynoso Rabago (now 
a Ph.D. candidate at l'Universite de Montreal). The Taller, 
part of the Centro de Estudios y Promocion Educativa Para 
el Campo (CEPEC), is engaged in educational and rural 
development projects in San Miguel Tzinacapan. 





JAY H. BER 

ANTARAN 



Bernstein 



the Division of Library and Information Science and the 



John 



Medi 



if Borneo (Lynne Rienner, 



Ellen (Ph.D., London School of Economics) is Professor of 
Anthropology and Human Ecology at the University of 
Kent at Canterbury. Author of many publications, his most 
recent book is Redefining Nature: Ecology, Culture and Domes- 
tication (Berg, 1996), co-edited with K. Fukui. Bantong bin 
Antaran (M.Phil., Hull) is Curator of Ethnography at the 
Brunei Museum. He has published extensively in English 
and Malay on the culture, folklore, and traditions of 
Bruneian Deooles. 




BALAM 



JESUS MARTIN 



J 



r Medicine 
Yucatan, w 



ordinates the Yucatan Ethnoflora Program. He holds an MA 
and Ph.D. from the National Autonomous University of 
Mexico (UNAM). He has 15 years experience investigating 
the flora of the Yucatan Peninsula, specializing in Mayan 
rural agriculture. He is a member of the Nacional System 
of Investigations of Mexico. Jesus Martin Kantun Balam 
is working toward a degree in Biology from the School of 



Med 



Yucatan 



rural 



Journal of Ethnobiology 17(1):1-16 



Summer 1997 



RARAMURI NECKLACES: A RAPIDLY CHANGING 
FOLK- ART FORM IN THE SIERRA MADRE OCCIDENTAL OF 

NORTHERN MEXICO 



KAREN R. ADAMS 

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center 

23390 County Road K. 
Cortez, CO 81321 



ENRIQUE SALMON 

Baca Institute of Ethnobotany 
Crestone, CO 81131 

ABSTRACT. — Raramuri women and their families living in the uplands of the 
Sierra Madre Occidental along the famous Copper Canyon railway make colorful 
seed bead necklaces. A collection of necklaces purchased in 1994 reveals notable 
variability. For example, while most appear intended for adornment, some are 
clearly rosaries, and others have pendants representing religious figures or sym- 
bols. The makers have used seeds, various fruit types, stems, wood, and bark of 
at least 19 different taxa in at least eleven plant families, including fruit or seeds 
of three domesticates, parts of three taxa naturalized from the Old World, and 
parts of plants that grow only in the lowlands or deep canyon bottoms. Alter- 
ations to raw materials include carving, cutting, filing, and dyeing, as well as 
soaking prior to piercing. A minimum of five modern materials served as string. 
Necklace-making appears to be a long-standing Raramuri tradition, although the 
diversity of necklaces now available has not been recorded in either historic lit- 
erature or the limited regional archaeological record. These necklaces, eagerly 
sought by tourists, represent a rapidly changing folk-art form that helps support 
their creative Raramuri makers. 

RESUMEN.— Las mujeres y familias que viven en las alturas del Occidental de 



Madre 



lan 



1994 revela variabilidad notable. Por ejemplo, mientras que la mayoria aparece 
pretentido para decoracion, algunos son obviamente rosarios y otros tienen 
colgantes que representan figuras o simbolos religiosos. Los fabricantes tienen 
semillas usadas, varios tipos frutales, tallos, madera, y corteza de por lo menos 19 



familias 



semillas de tres domesticates, partes de tres taxones naturalizadas del Mundo 
Antigua, y partes de las plantas que crecen solo en los pianos o fondos de canones 
profundos. Alteraciones primas materias incluyen tallar, cortar, limar, y tenir, tan 



minimo 



como cuerda. La fabricacion de collares aparece ser una tradicion antigua de los 
Raramuri, aunaue la diversidad de los collares que estan disponsibles no han 



2 



SALMON Vol. 17, No.l 



estado recordado en literatura historica ni el registro limitado regional de 
arqueologia. Estos collares que estan solicitado de las turistas entusiastas, 



una 



ayuda a mantener sus fabricantes creativos. 



RESUME.— Les femmes raramuries et leur famille qui vivent dans les hautes terres 
de la Sierra Madre occidentale le long du celebre chemin de fer du Canon del 
Cobre font des colliers de grains tres colores. Ces colliers sont tres diversifies 
comme le revele une collection acquise en 1994. Par exemple, la plupart des colliers 
de cette collection sont en apparence exclusivement ornementaux, mais certains 
sont definitivement des rosaires et d'autres comportent des pendentifs a motif, 
figure ou symbole, religieux. Les artisans ont utilise comme matiere premiere des 
graines, diverses sortes de fruits, des tiges, du bois et de l'ecorce d'au moins dix- 
neuf taxons differents appartenant a au moins onze families botaniques et 
comprenant des fruits ou des graines de trois plantes naturalisees, des parties de 
trois plantes introduites de l'ancien monde et des parties de plantes qu'on trouve 
seulement dans les basses terres ou au fond des canyons profonds. Ces materiaux 
ont ete soit sculptes, coupes, limes, teints ou meme trempes avant d'etre perces. 
Au moins cinq materiaux modernes ont ete utilises comme fil. La fabrication de 
colliers est une tradition ancienne chez les Raramuris, mais la diversite des colliers 
disponibles aujourd'hui n'a jamais ete consignee dans la documentation historique 
ou les petits depots d'archives archeologiques locales. Ces colliers, tres recherches 
par les touristes, represented une forme d'art populaire qui evolue tres rapidement 
et qui aide financierement ses createurs raramuris. 



INTRODUCTION 

Colorful seed bead necklaces made by Raramuri (Tarahumara) women and 
their families in the Barranca del Cobre area of the Sierra Madre Occidental of 
northwestern Mexico are sold mainly to tourists traveling the famous Copper 
Canyon railway. A number of these necklaces were purchased by the authors dur- 
ing two visits to the Sierra Madre uplands in the fall of 1994. The collections were 

nl™ lr V he State ° f Chihuahua on b oth sides of the continental divide at Divisidero 
U320 m) and at Creel (2375 m), in Wapakajipare rancheria some 600 meters below 
Divisidero, and at the village of Cerocahui (1600 m) (Figure 1). 

The largest selection of necklaces was found at the train stop at Divisidero 
where vendors draped their necklaces over the lips of woven baskets woven of 
sotol (Dasyhrion) or beargrass (Nolina) leaves, or pine (Pinus) needles, so as to be 
easily seen. Some women laid their necklaces in piles next to their other wares, 
l he second largest selection of necklaces was found in Creel, to which vendors 



numerous 



am 



$3.00. Thus the project rapidly grew from casual Durchasin*? to a svstem- 



We 



materials 



botany ^ Cre s y tone CO 6 laCeS ^ ^ dep ° Sited at *** Baca Institute of Ethno 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



3 




FIGURE 1. — Area of this study, along the Copper Canyon Railway. 



METHODS 

Interviews with Raramuri women in their native language provided their per- 
spectives on various aspects of necklace making, including the terms they used 
for the parts. We were able to identify most of the materials used in necklace con- 
struction by comparing them to specimens curated in the University of Arizona 
Herbarium (ARIZ), where many scholars continue to document northern Sierra 
Madre flora. We also researched historic and prehistoric perspectives on the neck- 
laces to assess how this art form is changing. Learning the identities of each raw 
material revealed which plants people gathered locally and which required longer 
trips or trading. Strings were directly compared to a wide collection of raw mate- 
rials including agave, wool, milled cotton, nylon and polyester threads, fishing 
line, and copper wire. Burning tests often helped in string identification. This study 
was greatly facilitated by Salmon's ongoing research on Raramuri ethnobotany 
(1995, in press). 



4 



ADAMS and SALMON 



Vol. 17, No.l 



RESULTS 



materials 



They include seeds, fruits such as caryopses and achenes, stems 



9 different taxa in at least 11 plant families (Table 1). The 
r elaborate carved crosses (Figure 2B), drums (Figure 2C 
symbol, such as the Virgin of Guadalupe surrounded 



(Figure 2D). 



TABLE 1. 



Raramuri 
nt family 



Family 



Scientific 
Name 



Common 
Name(s) 



Part 



Asteraceae 

Bombacaceae 

Cupressaceae 

Ericaceae 



Helianthus annuus 
Ceiba acuminata 



sunflower 
kapok 



achene 
seed 



Juniperus/Cupressus juniper/cypress wood 



Arbutus glandulosa 



madrone, madrono fruit 



A. arizonica 



Euphorbiaceae Ricinis communis 



castor bean 



Fabaceae 



acacia 



Acacia farnesiana 
Albizzia sinaloensis 

Erythrina flabelliformis coral bean 
Visum sativum 



pea 



fruit 

seed 

seed 
seed 
seed 
seed 



Pithecellobium duke 



guamiichili 



Fagaceae 



Rhynchosia precatoria rosary bean 
Quercus spp. 



oak 



Liliaceae 
Pinaceae 



Yucca 



sp 



Poaceae 



Pinus leiophylla type 
Pinus type 

Coix lacryma-jobi 



** 



Martyniaceae 
Unknown 



Otatea type** 

Zea mays 

Martynia annuua 

Unknown dicotyledon wood 



yucca 

pine 
pine 

Job's tears, 

batagd 
bamboo 
maize, corn 
devil's claw 



seed 
seed 

acorn 
(no cap) 

seed 

bark 
wood 

caryopsis 



stem 

caryopsis 

fruit 



Notes 



domesticated 



immature and 
mature 



introduced 



flat 



domesticated; 
introduced 



cultivar; 
introduced 

see below 
domesticated 



Ptelea trifoliatal 



7 



** Mfa! F 5f \ ° r a T re com P let e listing of common names. 

but thS £!T T t< ty ? e C ° nVeyS that the n «Wace material resembles the taxon named, 

tvn J ™l! ^entihcation is not secure. For example, the grass stems, identified as Otatea 

stemCd „ <°° m hardness ' but need to be compared anatomically to other robust- 

stemmed grasses for a more secure identification. 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



5 













FIGURE 2. — Raramuri necklaces, illustrating 
(A) Varied necklace materials, from left to rig 

•hrina and Martynia; #16 of Ricinis and J 



drum 



— if — ' — w 

composed of Acacia. (B) Necklaces with diverse crosses and symbols, 
?ft to right: #19 with Raramuri cross; #28 with crucifix and carved Jesus 
#10 with Raramuri cross; #24 with Raramuri cross of carved Pinus bark; 
th Raramuri cross; and #25 with Tarahumara four-directions symbol. (C 
ces with drums. (D) Necklaces with Virgin of Guadalupe, #21 of carved 
►ark (left) and #8 of carved Pinus bark surrounded by bead work (right). 



6 



ADAMS and SALMON 



Vol. 17, No.l 



Both domesticated and wild plants are utilized in necklace-making. Domesti- 
cates include New World maize {Zea mays L.) kernels and sunflower (Helianthus 
annuus L.) achenes and Old World garden peas (Pisum sativum L.) (Figure 3A). 
Among non-domesticates the legume (Fabaceae), kapok (Bombacaceae), spurge 
(Euphorbiaceae), and grass (Poaceae) families are well represented. One often sees 
New World coral beans (Erythrina flabelliformis Kearney) and kapok seeds (Ceiba 
acuminata [S. Wats.] Rose) and Old World castor beans (Ricinis communis L.) and 
pearly white or grey Job's tears (Coix lacryma-jobi L.) in combination with other 
materials (Figure 3B), or alone (Figure 3C). 












%« 





A 




FIGURE 3. — Raramuri necklaces, 
illustrating the use of domesticated 
and non-domesticated plant 
materials. (A) Necklaces made in part 
of domesticated plants, from left to 
right: necklace #11 of Helianthus and 
Arbutus; #1 of Zea and dicotyledon 
stem; #17 of Pisum and Arbutus. (B) 
Ricinis used in combination with other 
materials, including, from left to right: 
#32 Erythrina; #16 with Pithecellobium; 
#8 with Erythrina. (C) Necklace made 
solely of Coix, except for an unknown 



Raramuri a 
ro materials 



including Marty 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 7 



minimum of five modern ma 



milled cotton thread; (b) milled 



nylon) thread, some of which may be cotton-wrapped; (c) nylon fishing line; (d) 
the flat yellow plastic strips that make up loosely-woven bags in which grapefruit 
are sold; (e) and copper wire. Notably, no pita (Agave) fibers were identified as 
string. Detailed information on each taxon used can be found in ADDendix 1 . and 



necklaces are described in detail in Appendix 2. 



DISCUSSION 

About necklace-making. — Raramuri generally soak the beans, seeds, or fruit until 
they are soft enough to be pierced by a modern stainless steel sewing needle. Mad- 
rone fruit are strung while still fresh and soft, and then allowed to dry and shrink 
down tight against the thread. The Job's tears are said to have a hollow center, 
permitting easier piercing. Pine bark is easy to carve, and one can see rectangular 
scars on many living pine trees where bark has been removed for making pen- 
dants and other carvings. 

Some alterations are made to the natural form of bead types. The necklaces 
with devil's claw fruit have usually had the short, naturally sharp ends of the 
claws filed smooth to reduce risk of puncture. On occasion carved wooden beads 
have been dyed, and acorns are sometimes blackened by cooking them in burned 
lard. The use of immature green and mature red madrone fruit in different neck- 
laces suggests that people gather resources as they become seasonally available. 

The necklace-makers express their artistry in many ways. Although they will 
make a necklace with only one bead type (Figure 3C), they more commonly use 
two (Figure 3D). Sometimes differences in the ratios of bead types chosen produce 
very different patterns, for example, two necklaces made with a 1:1 or 7:1 ratio of 
Job's tears to coral beans. The color combinations are often striking, such as white 
garden peas alternating with bright red madrone fruit. Many of the current com- 
binations have been created because their makers say "they are pretty." 

Necklaces can display great attention to detail and pendant elaboration. One 
particularly fine pendant has a carved pine bark visage of the Virgin of Guadalupe 
surrounded by a series of angular, carved and dyed wooden beads, plus other 
dangling beads, all held tightly together by copper wire (Figure 2D). This same 
necklace was the only one on which the artist purposefully singed the thread ends 
to reduce raveling. 

Source of raw materials.— It is of interest to know where the raw materials grow natu- 
rally. The necklaces reported here were all purchased in the Copper Canyon uplands 
above 1600 m, and the majority of the items can be easily acquired in the middle 
and upper reaches of the barrancas. However, a number are more tropical in nature, 
and tend to grow in the lower depths of the deep canyons, such as Job's tears (Coix 
lacryma-jobi) , devil's claws (Martynia annuua L.), and rosary bean plants (Rhynchosia 
precatoria [L.] D C). Others available only part-way up the barrancas include coral- 
bean (Erythrinaflabelliformis), kapok (Ceiba acuminata), and bamboo (Otatea sp.). It is 
clear the necklace makers must either travel or trade to acquire some of their raw 
materials. The strings reported here are all available commercially. 



8 



ADAMS and SALMON Vol. 17, No.l 



ory of necklace-making . — The Raramuri claim that necklace-making is traditiona 
> is borne out by limited Northern Mexico archaeological and ethnograph 
►rds. It is important to note, however, that there may well be regional variatic 
ecklace-making, as the archaeological and ethnographic records reported he] 
not from the current study area, which is centered at Divisidero. 
The sparse archaeological record of the northern Sierra Madre in deposits coi 
k red Basketmaker — in the U.S. a period spanning some number of centurie 



B.C. until A.D. 700 



from 



burial site as funeral offerings (Zingg 1940:17). "Seeds" (or rather the fruit?) 
species of madrone (Arbutus xalavensis HBK.) recovered from this same site (Z 



makin 



Raramuri 



century Jesuit accounts (Perez de Ribas 1645; Neumann 1938; Arlegui 1737; 
Pfefferkorn 1794; Steffel 1809). However, the first observations bv non-Raramuri 



Lumholtz in 



weann 



naments, and that "they do not like to look at themselves" (1902:151). But he also 

women and men wore "strings of glass beads... and neck- 



made from the seed of Coix lacryma-iobi , mainlv for medicinal 



« 



men 



seeds while the women would wear several. The shamans, he noted, wore the 
seed necklaces at all official functions (1902:151). 

After Lumholtz, the next ethnographic reports to mention Raramuri adorn- 
ments were those of Wendell Bennett and Robert Zingg (1935) and Zingg (1940) 
They noted only the seeds of Coix being used as necklace and rosary adornment 
Thirty years later Pennington reported on necklace materials in use in 1963, al 



According to Penningt 
paring beads which we 
(1963:44. 213-214^: 



some of his information from 



(a) Coix lacryma-jobi, or Job's tears, a grass cultivated in garden plots, and identi- 



Lumholtz 



(b) Ptelea trifoliata, the hop tree, which supplied ai 
into crosses or beads. The necklaces described in 
dicotyledon wood that may turn out to be Ptelea. 



unknown 



(c) 



a 



flabellifi 



preparing a necklace; "seeds of a species of Etythrina have been recovered from 
local Basketmaker sites" (Zingg 1940), and were apparently funeral offerings. 

(d) Two species of madrone, Arbutus glandulosa and A. arizonica, also recovered 



Basketmaker 



an 



we now think may be seeds of Pithecellobium duke (Roxb.) Benth. 

The most recent study of Raramuri plants includes mention of only madrone 

truitS Used for nprlcbrpc m™ 1 Q7£\ 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 9 



Since the studies by Pennington (1963) and Bye (1976), there has been an obvi- 
ous increase in the variety of materials gathered by the Raramuri for making 
necklaces, and a general elaboration of this folk-art form. We report the use of at 
least 19 separate taxa for beads and pendants and at least five separate materials 
for string, none of them either Agave or wool. It seems that Raramuri necklace- 
making is a folk-art form changing rapidly to suit new economic opportunities, 
and reflecting greater access to non-local items such as Old World domesticates, 
polyester thread, copper wire, plastic grapefruit bags, etc. 

The present diversity in necklace materials and styles is likely a response to 



The 



Madre to lareer numbers of visitors (Kenn 



1990). The development of tourism has been made possible not only 1 
ence of the railway, but also by paving the road from San Juanito to ( 
and by the near completion of the paved road from Creel to Guachoc 
increasing hotel availability since the late 1960s has played a major 
current boom in tourist visitation. 



Significance of necklaces for the Raramuri. — Although non-vending Raramuri prefer 
to wear glass beads, the significance of these necklaces seems to be both religious 



medicinal. For example, some 



cru 



Raramuri Cross (Fieure 2B). The Raramuri Cross is similar 



Christian crucifix, but differs in that the bottom fans out. Some necklaces are clearly 
rosaries, though they may not be used as Catholics usually use them, but instead 
are worn at traditional ceremonies and church services. 

Carved pine bark visages can represent important religious figures in Raramuri 



exam 



ure whose feast day December 12 is quite important within the reli£ 
this dav and others durine the winter months Raramuri Matachine 



in 



carved of pine bark. The 



Raramuri 



and the creator as Dios en el Cielo (God in Heaven), El Senor, and El Papa (The 



The 



sun a repre: 



medicinal purposes," and were part of sha- 
man paraphernalia worn during official functions (Lumholtz 1902:151). In the 
Basihuare area necklaces of Etythrina flabelliformis were considered protection for 
children from beings associated with water (Merrill 1988:138), while Job's tears 
necklaces were important to curers (Lumholtz 1902:151). It is interesting that some 
of the seeds /fruit used in necklace-making are currently medicinal cures. For ex- 
ample, castor beans are made into a paste for gastrointestinal ailments and external 
application to damaged tissues, coral beans and acacia seeds provide an eye wash, 
acorn juice treats weak heart problems, and Job's tears are eaten as a preventative 
(Salmon, in press). 



10 



ADAMS and SALMON 



Vol. 17, No.l 



SUMMARY 



A 1994 collection of seed bead necklaces purchased from Raramuri women 
and their families in the uplands of the Sierra Madre Occidental are quite varied. 
The makers use seeds, fruit, stems, wood, and bark of 19 different taxa in 11 plant 
families, including fruit or seeds of domesticates, parts of naturalized plants, and 
materials that are only available in the lowlands or deep canyon bottoms. Strings 
are of modern materials such as nylon fishing line and polyester and cotton thread. 
Some necklaces are clearly rosaries, and others have pendants that represent reli- 
gious figures such as the Virgin of Guadalupe, or symbols such as the Raramuri 
cross. To prepare the materials for stringing, the artists sometimes carve, cut, file, 
dye, or soak them prior to piercing. These inexpensive necklaces, eagerly sought 
by tourists, are rarely worn publicly by Raramuri, who instead prefer to wear 
glass beads. Yet the necklaces have both religious and medicinal significance to 
their makers. Raramuri necklace-making in some form may have a long history, 
but as a current folk-art form is quite elaborate in comparison to the limited north- 
ern Mexican archaeological record and written literature of the colonial period. 
Tourist visitation to Copper Canyon over the past three decades has provided 
ever increasing demand for these elegant necklaces, crafted by their makers for 
beauty, health, and prayer. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



The 



ern 



with the University of Arizona Herbarium, and knowledgeable in 
helped with identifications and taxonomic matters, especially To: 
Mason, Phil Jenkins, and Joseph Laf erriere. Robert Bye and Barney 



Many 



William Merrill gave the manuscript 



and David Woodward 



LITERATURE CITED 



ARLEGUI, JOSE. 1737. Cronica de la 
Provincia de N.S.P.S. Francisco de 
Zacatecas, Mexico. 

BAILEY, LIBERTY H. 1974. Manual of 
Cultivated Plants, Most Commonly 
Grown in the Continental United States 
and Canada, Revised Edition. 
MacMillan, New York. 

BYE, ROBERT A., JR. 1976. Ethnoecology 
of the Tarahumara of Chihuahua, 
Mexico. Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard 
University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

— . 1985. Medicinal Plants of the 

Tarahumara Indians of Chihuahua, 
Mexico. Pp. 77-104 in Two Mummies 
from Chihuahua, Mexico, Rose A. Tyson 
and Daniel V. Elerick (editors). San 



Diego Museum Papers No. 19. San 

Diego, California. 
BENNETT, WENDELL C. and ROBERT M. 

ZINGG. 1935. The Tarahumara. An 

Indian Tribe of Northern Mexico. 

University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 
GENTRY, HOWARD S. 1963. The Warihio 

Indians of Sonora-Chihuahua: An 

Ethnographic Survey. Smithsonian 

Institution, Anthropological Papers No. 

65, Bureau of American Ethnology, 

Washington, D.C. 
GUNN, CHARLES R. 1969. Abrus 

precatorius: A deadly gift. Garden 

Journal:2-5. 
HEDRICK, U. P. (editor). 1972. Sturtevant's 

Edible Plants of the World. Dover 

Publications, New York. 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



11 



KEARNEY, THOMAS H. and ROBERT H. 
PEEBLES. 1960. Arizona Flora, 2nd 
Edition. University of California Press, 
Berkeley. 

KENNEDY, JOHN G. 1990. The 
Tarahumara. Indians of North American 
Series, Liz Sonneborn (editor). Chelsea 
House Publishers, New York. 

LUMHOLTZ, CARL. 1902. Unknown 
Mexico. 2 vols. New York. 

McVAUGH, ROGERS. 1987. Flora Nova- 
Galiciana, A Descriptive Account of the 
Vascular Plants of Western Mexico, Vol. 
5, Leguminosae. University of Michigan 
Press, Ann Arbor. 

MERRILL, WILLIAM L. 1977. An 
investigation of ethnographic and 
archaeological collections of 
mescalbeans (Sophora secundiflora) in 
American Museums. Museum of 
Anthropology Technical Report No. 6. 
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

Souls: 



1988. 



Raramuri 



Knowledge and Social Process in 
Northern Mexico. Smithsonian 
Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 

NEUMANN, JOSEPH, S.J. 1938. Historia 
Seditionum Quad Adversus Societatis 
Jesu Missionarios Forum Q. Auxiliares 
Moverunt Nationes Indicae ac 
Potissimum Tarahumara in America 
Septentrionali (translated by Marion 
Reynolds). Bolton Collection, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

PENNINGTON, CAMPBELL W. 1963. The 



Tarahumar 



of 



Mexico. 



Their 



PEREZ DE RIBAS, ANDRES. 1645. Historia 
de los trivmphos de nvuestra Santa Fee 
entre gentes las mas barbaras y fieras 

del Nuevo Orbe. A. de Paredes, Madrid. 
PFEFFERKORN, IGNAZ. 1794. Sonora: A 

Description of the Province (translated 
by Theodore E. Treutlein). University of 
Arizona Press, Tucson. 
SALMON, ENRIQUE. 1991. Tarahumara 

healing practices. Shamans Drum 24:34- 
45. 

1995. Cures of the Copper 

Canyon: Medicinal plants of the 
Tarahumara with potential toxicity. 
Herbalgram 34:44-55. 

1997. Bioregional influence on 

Raramuri lexicon. Ph.D Dissertation, 

(Anthropology), Arizona State 
University, Tempe. 
STEFFEL, MATTAUS. 



Environment and Material Culture. 
University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. 



1809. 

Tarahumarishes Worterbuch, nebst 
einigen Nachrichten von den Sitten und 
Gebrauchen der Tarahumaren, in Neu- 
Biscaia, in der Audiencia Guadalaxara 

im Vice-Konigreiche Alt Mexico, oder 
Neu-Spanien. Von P. Matthaus Steffel. 
In Nachrichten von verschiedenen 
Landern des Spanischen Amerika. Aus 
eigenhandigen Aufsaken einiger 
Missionare der Gesellschaft Jesu 
herausgegeben von Christoph Gottlieb 
von Murr. Erster Theil. Halle, verlegt bei 
Joh. Christian Hendel. 
ZINGG, ROBERT M. 1940. Report on the 
archeology of southern Chihuahua. 
Contributions of the University of 
Denver III. Center of Latin American 
Studies I, Denver, Colorado. 



■ — 



Appendix 1.— Materials of Raramuri necklace construction, organized alphabetically by 



otherwise indicated, ethnobotanical 

and 



_ ^ _ _ — , _ v _ 

= Spanish term 

Scientific Name: Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd. 
Common name(s): chapote (Rm), zvichakd Where 

(Rm), tnokowi (Rm) 
Part: seed 
Color: brown 



(Rm) = 



Additional ethnobotanical information: Flow- 
ers used in a wash for eye problems, 
headaches, bruises. Spines made into a 
tea and drunk for kidney ailments 



Alterations: none 



small tree. Does well in grasslands, 
openings in the thorn forest, or in dry 
deciduous forest, 300-2000 m 
(McVaueh 1987). 



12 



ADAMS and SALMON 



Vol. 17, No.l 



Scientific Name: Albizzia sinaloensis Britton 
& Rose 

Common name(s): caydbajo (Rm) 

Part: seeds 

Color: some are tan; others are green 

Alterations: none 

Notes: the tan flattened, but somewhat ir- 
regular seed is dicotyledonous, 
confirmed by two cotyledons emerg- 
ing from a seed that began 
germination. The green seed is some- 
what similar, but the two may not be 
identical. 

Scientific Name: Arbutus glandulosa; A. 

arizonica (A. Gray) Sarg. 
Common name(s): madrone, madrono (Sp), 

urubisi (Rm) 
Part: fruit, immature and mature 
Color: green (immature); red (mature) 
Additional ethnobotanical information: 

knots used for kick balls, berries edible. 
Alterations: none 

Where grows today: Native, common 
shrubs of the uplands. 

Scientific Name: Ceiba acuminata (S. Wats.) 
Rose 



Alterations: none 

Where grows today. Introduced from tropi- 
cal Asia. Cultivated in the western 
barrancas. 

Scientific Name: Erythrina flab elli for mis 

Kearney 
Common name(s): coral bean, chilicote (Sp), 

colorin (Sp), aposhi (Rm) 

Part: seed 

Color: varied, tan to red to orange 
Note: Comparisons to another large 
Fabaceae seed type, Sophora 
secundiflor a , were less satisfactory. 
Sophora seeds are smaller and lack a 
raised area along their dorsal side. 
They also bear an indented seed scar 

(Merrill 1977) 

Additional ethnobotanical information: 
seed crushed and made into a tea for 
gastrointestinal problems, headaches, 
toothaches, eye problems 

Alterations: none 

Where grows today: a native plant, sensi- 
tive to frost. In Arizona it grows up to 
1670 m (Kearney and Peebles 
1960:480). 



Common name(s): chikokawi (Rm), Scientific Name: Helian thus annuusL. 

m m m m 



Part: seed 
Color: brown 



(Rm) 



The 



furnish 



ant "kapok" of commerce 
Alterations: none 



Common name(s): sunflower, sewdchari 
(Rm) 

Part: achene 

Color: black and white 

Additional ethnobotanical information: a 

domesticated taxon 
Alterations: none 



Where grows today: Large trees, grows in Where grows today: a New World domes- 



lowlands, up to 900 m in elevation 



Scientific 



(Rm) 



Part: caryopsis 

Color: pearly white to gray 

Additional ethnobotanical information: 
Necklaces made from the seeds of Coix 
lacryma-jobi worn by both men and 



women "chiefly for medicinal pur- Part: wood 



ticate that is likely grown throughout 
the area, in both uplands and lowlands, 
especially preferring roadsides and 
fields 

Scientific Name: Juniperus/Cupressus 
Common name(s): juniper, cypress, tdscate 

(Sp), aori (Rm), abort (Rm), awari 

(Rm), pechuri (Rm) 



This 



broad-leaved grass is cultivated in gar- 



found 



archaeological sites (Pennington 
1963:213-214). The "seeds" may be 
ground to flour and made into a coarsp 



Color: dark brown (dyed) 

Additional ethnobotanical information: 
leaves used as a tea or wash for colds, 
toothaches, stomach problems, in- 
cense, muscle relaxant 



but nourishing bread (Sturtevant in Where 



carved 



Hedrick 1972:184). 



grow in the uplands. 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



13 



Scientific Name: Martynia anmiua L. 
Common name(s): devil's claw, chorikari 

(Rm) 

Part: fruit 
Color: black 

Additional ethnobotanical information: 
Warihio eat the seeds, which are high 
in oil content, whole or ground (Gen- 
try 1963:92). Raramuri eat the seeds 
and young leaves 

Alterations: short, naturally sharp claw 
points have been filed down just a bit 
to smooth them 

Where grows today: a native plant that 
grows well in the tropical lowlands, up 
to 1000 m. It is common in fields and 
other disturbed areas around Alamos, 
Sonora. 

Scientific Name: Otatea type 
Common name(s): bamboo 
Part: stem 
Color: tan 

Alterations: cut into short segments 
Where grows today: a native plant that likes 
moist canyons and hillsides, up to 1000 
m. This identification remains to be 
confirmed on the basis of anatomical 
evidence. Other grasses (e.g. Arundo, 
Phragmites, Arutidinaria, Lasiacis, and 

Muhlenbergia) may also provide robust 
stems for bead-making. 

Scientific Name: Pinus leiophylla var. 

chihuahuana type 
Common name(s): chihuahua pine, oko-ko 

(Rm) 
Part: bark 
Color: brown 



Scientific Name: Pisum sativum L. 

Common name(s): garden pea 

Part: seed 

Color: white 

Alterations: none 

Where grows today: a domesticated plant 
introduced from the Old World; grown 
in gardens (Bailey 1974:553). 

Scientific Name: Pithecellobium duke (Roxb.) 
Benth. 

Common name(s): guamiichili (Rm), 
guamtitcali (Rm) 

Part: seed 

Color: black 

Additional ethnobotanical information: The 
pulpy, acidulous aril surrounding the 
seeds is a favorite spring food of Mexi- 
cans and Warihio (Gentry 1963:94). 
Leaves made into a tea for gastro intes- 
tinal ailments 

Alterations: none 

Where grows today: a native tree of thorn 
forest or tropical deciduous forest, 
sometimes in dry pine-oak forest, from 
sea level to 1600 m, now widely 
planted and naturalized along roads 
and in other disturbed habitats 
(McVaugh 1987:234). Often incorrectly 

thought to be an introduced taxon, 
since it was carried by the Spanish in 
colonial times to the Philippines, from 
where it went to India, where it was 
first described and named botanically 
(McVaugh 1987:234). 

Scientific Name: Qucrcus spp. (at least two 

species used) 
Common name(s): oak, ro j i (Rm) 



Note: Also in the region, Pinus ponderosa Part: acorn, missing the cap 
Lawson var. arizonica (Engelm.) Shaw Color: brown, black (dyed) 



has thick, platey bark that could be 
carved into pendants 
Additional ethnobotanical information: 
leaves made into a tea for headaches 

Alterations: carved 

Where grows today: one of the many na- 
tive pines of the upland coniferous 
forest. 



Additional ethnobotanical information: 
Bark is crushed and made into an oint- 
ment for inflammations and pains. The 
leaves are made into a tea for gas- 
trointestinal ailments. The juice of the 
acorns is eood for heart problems and 



Alterations 



pregnancy, 
ones appec 
of burned 



Where grows today: many 
in the uplands; no atl 
to identify the acorns 



14 



ADAMS and SALMON 



Vol. 17, No.l 



Scientific Name: Ricinis communis L. 
Common name(s): castor bean, urake (Rm) 
Part: seed 
Color: mottled; basic color varied, from 

white to dark brown 
Additional ethnobotanical information: 

Seeds eaten raw for gastrointestinal 
ailments, and the seeds and leaves to- 
gether are made into a poultice to treat 
bruises, swellings, inflammations, and 
boils. The leaves are also made into a 
poultice to treat headaches, or used as 

an ointment for sores and cankers. 
Alterations: none 

Where grows today: introduced from tropi- 
cal Africa, robust plants with huge 
leaves grow lushly in the uplands 

Scientific Name: Rhynchosia precatoria (L.) 
D.C. 

Common name(s): rosary bean, blackbird's 



Part: seed 



(Rm) 



Color: two tone, black and reddish-orange 
Additional ethnobotanical information: 
Gunn (1969) suggests that a single seed 
of a similar tropical plant of the Old 
World (Abrus precatorius) would be 
deadly poisonous if ingested by a hu- 
man. Sturtevant (in Hedrick 1972:17) 
says the seeds are edible, but among 



Where grows today: Rhynchosia is a native 
liana that grows in shady canyon bot- 
tom settings, up to 600 m in elevation, 
often on north-facing slopes in the 
tropical deciduous forest (data from 
ARIZ herbarium sheets). 

Scientific Name: Yucca sp. 

Common name(s): broad-leaved yucca, 

soko (Rm) 
Part: seed, thick like a dime 
Color: black 

Alterations: none 

Where grows today: a native plant that can 
grow between 900 to 2425 m, with pin- 
yon and juniper trees (Kearney and 
Peebles 1960:187). 

Scientific Name: Zea mays L. 

Common name(s): maize, corn, suku (Rm) 

Part: caryopsis 

Color: deep purple /black 

Additional ethnobotanical information: The 
tassels of maize are used by the 
Raramuri as a tea to treat kidney and 
bladder infections. They consider 
themselves descendant from corn. 

Alterations: none 

Where grows today: a New World domes- 
ticate that grows all throughout the 
uplands and lowlands. 



the hardest and most indigestible of all Scientific Name: Unknown dicotyledon; dif- 



the pea tribe. However, the 1972 edi- 



fuse porous 



tion of this book provides a cautionary Common name(s): unknown 

publisher's note on the seed's toxicity. Part: wood 

The Latin word precator means "one Color: white 

who prays." The Mayo are reported to Alterations: carved into beads and crosses 



have used the seeds in necklaces (Gen- 
try 1963:100). The Raramuri used the 
seed crushed and made into an oint- 
ment or poultice to treat back pain and 
rheumatism. 
Alterations: none 



Notes: In 1963, Pennington (1963:214-215) 
suggested that Ptelea trifoliata, the hop 
tree, supplied an easily worked wood 
that has been fashioned into crosses or 
beads. Anatomical comparisons be- 
tween the 1994 materials and Ptelea 
must still be done. 



Appendix 2.— Specific details on individual Raramuri necklaces purchased in 1994 



Necklace #1. 



Necklace #2. 



Bead Types: 1:1, Zea mays caryopsis: un- Bead Types: 4:1, Ceiba acuminata seed: Otatea 



known dicotyledon stem 



unknown 



Strung 



ledon wood (fibrous, diffuse porous) 



ester) thread. 



type stem 

Pendant: Raramuri Cross, unknown dicoty- 
ledon wood (fibrous, diffuse porous) 

Strung on: red-dyed synthetic (nylon or 
polyester) thread. 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



15 



Necklace #3. 

Bead Types: 5:1, Ceiba acuminata seed: 

Erythrina flabelliformis seed 
Pendant: miniature drum with 2:1, Ricinis 

communis seeds: Erythrina flabelliformis 

seeds 
Strung on: light pink cotton thread. 

Necklace #4. 

Bead types: 11:1, Ceiba acuminata seed: 

Erythrina flabelliformis seed 
Pendant: none 
Strung on: light pink synthetic (nylon or 

polyester) thread. 

Necklace #5. 

Bead types: 1:1, Quercus sp. acorn (lacking 



Necklace #10. 

Bead types: solely immature Arbutus spp. 

fruit 

Pendant: Raramuri cross, unknown dicoty- 
ledon wood (fibrous, diffuse-porous) 

Strung on: undyed cotton thread; 4 strands. 

Necklace #11. 

Bead types: 1:1:, Helianthus annuus achenes: 
mature Arbutus spp. fruit 

Pendant: none 

Strung on: bright green synthetic (nylon or 

polyester) thread. 

Necklace #12. 

Bead types: 15:3, Albizzia sinaloensis seed: 
Yucca sp. seed 



cap and dyed black): Erythrina Pendant: none 



flabelliformis seed 
Pendant: carved Pinus leiophylla type bark 

figure, Father Sun 
Strung on: multi-colored synthetic (nylon 
or polyester) string; may be cotton 
wrapped. 

Necklace #6. 



Strung on: yellow, heavy single strand syn- 
thetic fishing line, doubled for 
strength. 

Necklace #13. 

Bead types: 1:1, Martynia annuua fruit: 

Erythrina flabelliformis seeds 
Pendant: none 



Bead types: 7:1, Coix lacryma-jobi caryopses: Strun 



flabellif 
Pendant: none 

Strung on: light blue heavy single strand 
fishing line. 

Necklace #7. 



polyester) thread 



Necklace #14. 



ing the caps 
Pendant: none 



Quercus sp. acorns 



Bead types: 1:1, Coix lacryma-jobi caryopses: Strung on: rose-colored synthetic (nylon or 



Erythrina flabelliformis seeds 
Pendant: none 



polyester) thread, 3 strands. 



Necklace #15. 



Strung on: yellow, flat synthetic (plastic) Bead types: so lely Rhynchosia precatoria 



strands (two, parallel and untwisted), 
as the strands of which commercial 
fruit (e.g., grapefruit) bags are made. 

Necklace #8. 

Bead types: 1:1, Ricinis communis seeds: 

Erythrina flabelliformis seeds 
Pendant: carved Pinus leiophylla type bark 

Virgin de Guadalupe face, with nine 



seeds 
Pendant: none 



fishing line. 



heavy, 1 -strand syntheti 



carved and dyed Juniperus/Cupressus Pendant: none 



Necklace #16. Baca Institute of Ethnobotany 

(BIE) # NA-SW-TA-N-19 
Bead types: 3:3, Ricinis communis seeds: 

Pithecellobium duke seeds 



wooden angular beads, and 1:1, Ceiba 
acuminata seeds: Erythrina flabelliformis 
seeds. Pendant held together with cop- 
per wire. 
Strung on: yellow synthetic thread, melted 
to seal ends. 

Necklace #9. 

Bead types: 3:1, Ricinis communis seeds: 
Otatea type stem 

Pendant: none 

Strung on: pink synthetic (nylon or polyes- 
ter) thread, possibly cotton wrapped. 



Strung on: pink 



SW- 



Bead types: 1:1, mature Arbutus fruit: white 

Pisum sativum seeds 

Pendant: none 

Strung on: white cotton thread. 



•SW- 



Bead types: 5:4, Ceiba acuminata seeds: 
Albizzia sinaloensis seeds (green, flat) 

Pendant: none 

Strung on: grey synthetic (nylon or polyes- 
ter) thread. 



16 



ADAMS and SALMON 



Vol. 17, No.l 



Necklace #19. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-18 



SW 



Bead types: 10:1, Acacia farnesiana seeds Bead types: 3:2:1:, Yucca seeds: Ceiba 



strung lengthwise: Acacia farnesiana 
seeds strung widthwise. This necklace 
is clearly a rosary. 



seeds 
Pendant: none 



Erythrina flabellifc 



Pendant: Raramuri cross, unknown dicoty- Strung on: yellow nylon thread. 

ledon wood (fibrous, diffuse-porous) 
Strung on: yellow fishing line. 

Necklace #20. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-2 



SW 



Bead types: solely mature Arbutus sp. fruit 
Pendant: none 



Bead types: 12:2:1, Ceiba acuminata seeds: Strung on: white nylon thread. 
Coix lacryma-jobi caryopses: Erythrina 
flabelliformis seeds 

Pendant: drum, made of goat skin, red cot- 
ton thread, Otatea with 2:1, Erythrina 
flabelliformis seed: Otatea stem 

Strung on: red cotton thread. 

Necklace #21. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-3 
Bead types: 1:1, red and tan Erythrina 

flabelliformis seeds: carved and black 

dyed unknown wood 
Pendant: carved Pinus leiophylla type bark 

Virgin figure. 
Strung on: yellow monofilament. 

Necklace #22. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-4 

Bead types: solely Quercus acorn (lacking 
cap) 

Pendant: Raramuri cross, carved of 

Juniperus wood. 
Strung on: white cotton string. 

Necklace #23. BIE # N A-SW-TA-N-5 

Bead types: solely Coix lacryma-jobi cary- 
opses and one carved bead of 
unknown dicotyledon wood 

Pendant: Raramuri cross, carved of un- 



know 



Strung 



SW 



Bead types: 5:1, Erythrina flabelliformis seeds: 
tan Erythrina flabelliformis seeds 

Pendant: Raramuri cross, carved Pinus 
leiophylla type bark 

Strung on: white cotton thread. 

Necklace #25. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-9 



cap) 



Quercus acorn 



Necklace #28. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-13 
Bead types: 8:1, Ceiba acuminata seeds: tan 

Erythrina flabelliformis seeds 
Pendant: 15 x 8.5 cm crucifix with carved 

Jesus figure. Both are carved from 

Pinus wood. 
Strung on: red nylon thread. 

Necklace #29. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-14 
Bead types: 23:1, Albizzia sinaloensis seed: 
red Erythrina flabelliformis seeds 

Pendant: none 

Strung on: orange nylon thread. 

Necklace #30. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-15 
Bead types: 10:1:1:1, Albizzia sinaloensis 
seeds: Coix lacryma-jobi caryopsis: 
Erythrina flabelliformis seed: Coix 

lacryma-jobi caryopsis 
Pendant: drum, plus three danglers of 1:3:1, 

Erythrina flabelliformis seed: Coix 

lacryma-jobi caryopses: Erythrina 

flabelliformis seed. 
Strung on: yellow nylon thread. 

Necklace #31. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-2 

Bead types: 8:1:1:1, Ceiba acuminata seeds: 
Coix lacryma-jobi caryopsis: Erythrina 
flabelliformis seed: Coix lacryma-jobi 
caryopsis 

Pendant: drum, plus two danglers of 1:1:1/ 
Erythrina flabelliformis seed: Otatea type 
stem: Erythrina flabelliformis seed. 

Strung on: red cotton thread 

Pendant: drum, made of goat skin, red cot- 
ton thread, Otatea with 2:1, Erythrina 
flabelliformis seed: Otatea stem 

Strung on: red cotton thread. 



Pendant: Tarahumara four directions sym- Necklace #32. BIE # NA-SW-TA-N-1 



Strun 



bol, carved of Pinus wood. 



Bead types: 1:1: Ricinis communis seed 

Erythrina flabelliformis seed. 
Pendant: none 
Strung on: red cotton thread. 



Journal of Ethnobiology 17(l):17-43 



Summer 1997 



GENERIC SPECIES AND BASIC LEVELS: 
ESSENCE AND APPEARANCE IN FOLK BIOLOGY 



SCOTT ATRAN 

Institute for Social Research 

University of Michigan 
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248 



PAUL ESTIN 

Cognition and Perception Psychology 

University of Michigan 
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248 






JOHN COLEY 

DOUGLAS MEDIN 

Department of Psychology 

Northwestern University 

Evanston, IL 60208-2710 

ABSTRACT.— Results indicate that the same taxonomic rank is cognitively privi- 
leged for biological induction in two diverse populations: people raised in Michi- 
gan, and Itzaj Maya of the Peten rainforest. This is the generic species — the level 
of oak and robin — which is coextensive with Berlin's folkgeneric rank but with a 



unaccounted 



cannot 



taneously yield different measures of privilege. For example, Rosch and her col- 
leagues suggest that life forms — the level of tree and bird — rather than 
folkgenerics comprise the "basic level" for many Americans. Rosch, like Berlin, 
advances such domain-general models of similarity to account for privileged cat- 
egories as maximally informative clusters of perceptual attributes that best repre- 
sent "objective discontinuities" in nature. However, this favors cross-cultural dif- 
ferences in the rank privileged in induction as a function of differences in famil- 
iarity with the natural environment. Although our data indicate some relative 
downgrading of knowledge to a higher rank among industrialized Americans 
and upgrading to a lower rank among silvicultural Maya, these differences are 
clearly a second-order effect. To account for the absolute privilege of generic spe- 
cies in diverse cultures, a domain-specific view of folkbiology is offered. It favors 
the idea of the generic-species level as a partitioning of the ontological domains 
of plant and animal into causal essences. The attribution of essence, and the bio- 
logical expectations that go with it, is in part independent of actual experience or 
degree of perceptual familiarity with the kind in question. This reflects a cogni- 
tive division of labor between domain-general perceptual heuristics and domain- 
specific learning mechanisms, which may be an evolutionary design. 



18 ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN Vol. 17, No.l 



RESUMEN. — Nuestros resultados indican que el mismo rango taxonomico es 
privilegiado cognoscitivamente en dos poblaciones diferentes: gente que credo 
en Michigan, en los Estados Unidos de Norteamerica, y Mayas Itzaj de la selva 
tropical del Peten en Guatemala. Este rango taxonomico es la especie generica — 
el nivel del encino y el petirrojo — que coincide con lo que Berlin llama el nivel 
generico 'folk' pero tiene un sentido teorico distinto. Los modelos de formation 
de categorias e induccion basados en la similitud no pueden dar cuenta de estos 
resultados porque tales modelos no pueden producir simultaneamente diferentes 
medidas de privilegio. Por ejemplo, Rosch y sus colegas sugieren que son las formas 
de vida — el nivel al que pertenecen arbol y pajaro — mas que los genericos 'folk' 
las que comprenden el "nivel basico" para muchos norteamericanos. Rosch, al 
igual que Berlin, propone tales modelos de similitud, generates a todo dominio, 
para explicar las categorias privilegiadas como conjuntos, maximamente 
informativos, de atributos perceptuales que mejor representan las 
"discontinuidades objetivas" de la naturaleza. Esto, sin embargo, favorece las 
diferencias entre culturas en el rango privilegiado en la induccion como funcion 
de las diferencias en familiaridad con el medio ambiente. Si bien nuestros datos 
indican cierta disminucion relativa del conocimiento hacia rangos superiores en- 
tre los norteamericanos industrializados, y un aumento del conocimiento hacia 
rangos inferiores entre los silvicultores mayas, estas diferencias son claramente 
un efecto de segundo orden. Para responder al privilegio absolute de la especie 
generica en diversas culturas, ofrecemos una perspectiva especifica de dominio 
de la biologia 'folk'. Esta perspectiva favorece la idea del nivel de la especie generica 
como una division de los dominios ontologicos planta y animal en esencias 
causales. La atribucion de esencia, y las expectativas biologicas que conlleva, son 
independientes en parte de la experiencia real o el grado de familiaridad percep- 
tual con la clase en cuestion. Esto refleja una division cognoscitiva del trabajo 
entre la heuristica perceptual de dominio general y los mecanismos de aprendizaje 
de dominio especifico, division que puede ser un diseno evolutivo. 

RESUME.— Notre enquete indique que dans deux populations distinctes, les ha- 

Hii-Antc r^rirriK^ii-ac- _-._» \/f;^U. t7j.~ ___ t t__ • _ _ . i _ _ * k »-__• i i_ e _ _ _•_« • j 



Maya 



gnitiv 



s'agit de l'espece generique 



connaissance des elements biologiques. II 

gorg e — qui est 



coextensive au niveau du generique populaire de Berlin mais qui a un sens 
theorique different. Ces resultats ne peuvent s'expliquer par des modeles de la 
formation categorielle et de l'induction fondes sur la similarite, car de tels modeles 

ne DPUWnt fnirmir on momo tntvi^o .,- .i_._i.___ ___ _•<-<•' _.__ '-i__ii J„ 



urnir en meme temps une 



mesure de predilection qui sont a l'a?uvre. Par exemple, Rosch et ses collegues 
suggerent que pour de nombreux Americains, les formes de vie — le niveau d'arbre 
et d'oiseau — constituent le "niveau de base" au lieu des generiques populaires. 
Comme Berlin, Rosch propose de tels modeles de domaines generaux de similarite 
pour rendre compte des categories privilegiees en tant que groupes porteurs 
d'lnformation maximale d'attributs perceptuels representant le mieux les 



^ — j^vx. w> ut xa naiuic. luuieiuib, ceci iaisse croire a aes airrerenceb 
culturelles relatives a la selection inductive du rang qui seraient fonction de 

n iff Priori .roc r\r\ f <*«>% «1 ««*«..: .t,x ^ i_ ___•!• - *^-^. < ... 



donnees 



un 



Michigan et un 



May 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 19 



forestiers, ces differences constituent evidemment un effet secondaire. Une per- 
spective specifique au domaine de la biologie populaire peut rendre compte de la 
predilection absolue pour le niveau de l'espece generique dans diverses cultures. 
Selon cette perspective, le niveau de Tespece generique serait le resultat d'un 
morcellement des domains ontologiques de plante et d ' animal en essences causales. 
L'attribution de l'essence — et les attentes biologiques qui l'accompagnent — est 
partiellement independante de l'experience concrete ou du degre de familiarite 
perceptuelle avec la sorte en question. Ceci reflete une division cognitive du tra- 
vail, entre une heuristique perceptuelle orientee vers le domaine general et des 
mecanismes d'apprentissage tourne vers le domaine specifique — ce qui pourrait 
relever d'un schema evolutif. 



INTRODUCTION 



i 



This paper uses a standard tool of cognitive psychology 



inducth 



ence — to explore the cognitive validity of folkbiological ranks. In particular, the 

. .~— - * 1 Aft - * 



maximizes 



inferences 



same across cultures. The crucial 



nomic 



living kinds. 



concerning 



example, findin 



industrialized society see category members as fairly similar up to the life-form 
el. that is. the level of tree or bird (Rosch, Mervis, Gray, Johnson, and Boyes- 



Braem 1976; see Zubin and Kopcke 1986 for Germany). If so, the major breakpoint 
or elbow in inductive confidence in such cultures should appear between the life- 
form level and higher levels. In contrast, observations by Berlin and his colleagues 
on the salience of the folkgeneric — the level of oak and robin — suggest that the 
breakpoint in a small-scale subsistence society should be between the folkgeneric 
level and higher levels (Berlin, Breedlove, and Raven 1973). In the following para- 
graphs we develop these ideas to motivate the present experiment. 

Ever since the pioneering work of Berlin and his colleagues, ethnobiological 
evidence has been accumulating that human societies everywhere have similar 
folkbiological structures (Berlin, Breedlove, and Raven 1974; Huron 1977; Hays 1983; 
Brown 1984; Atran 1990; Berlin 1992). These striking cross-cultural similarities 
suggest that a small number of organizing principles universally define systems 
of folkbiological classification. Folkbiological groups, or taxa, are organized into 
ranks, which represent an embedding of distinct levels of reality. Most folkbiological 
systems have between three and six ranks. Taxa of the same rank are mutually 



similar linguistic 



acteristics. 



Ranks and taxa, whether in 



different logical orders, and confounding them is a category mistake. Bioiogi 
ranks are second-order classes of groups ( e.g., species, family, kingdom) wh 
elements are first-order groups (e.g., lion, feline, animal). Folkbiological ranks se 
to vary little, if at all, across cultures as a function of theories or belief systems 



20 ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN Vol. 17, No.l 



other words, such ranks are universal but not the taxa they contain. Ranks are 
intended to represent fundamentally different levels of reality, not convenience. 2 
The most general folkbiological rank is the folk kingdom. Examples are plant 
and animal . Such taxa are not always explicitly named, and represent the most 
fundamental divisions of the biological world. These divisions correspond to the 
notion of "ontological category" in philosophy (Donnellan 1971) and psychology 
(Keil 1979). From an early age, it appears, humans cannot help but conceive of any 
object they see in the world as either being or not being an animal and there is 
evidence for an early distinction between plants and nonliving things (Inagaki 
and Hatano in press). Conceiving of an object as a plant or animal seems to carry 
with it certain assumptions that are not applied to objects thought of as belonging 
to other ontological categories, like the categories of substance or artifact (Keil 



Mandler and McDonough 



form. Most 



or another life form. Life-form taxa often have lexically unanalyzable names (simple 
primary lexemes), such as "tree" and "bird," although some life-form names are 
analyzable, such as "quadruped." Biologically, members of a life-form taxon are 
diverse. Psychologically, members of a life-form taxon share a small number of 
perceptual diagnostics: stem aspect, skin covering, and so forth (Brown 1984). Life- 
form taxa may represent adaptations to broad sets of ecological conditions, such 
as competition among single-stem plants for sunlight and tetrapod adaptation to 
life in the air (Hunn 1982; Atran 1985). Classifying by life form may occur early on: 
two-year-olds distinguish familiar kinds of quadruped (e.g., dog and horse) from 
sea versus air animals (Mandler et al. 1991). 

The core of any folk taxonomy, according to Berlin, is the folkgeneric level. 
Like life-form taxa, folkgeneric taxa are often named by simple lexemes, such as 
"oak" and "robin." Sometimes, folkgenerics are labeled as binomial compounds, 
like "hummingbird." On other occasions, they may be optionally labeled as bino- 



mial 



// 



oak tree." In both cases the binomial makes 
t between generic and life form. 



Folkgenerics often correspond to scientific genera or species, at least for the 
most phenomenally salient organisms, such as larger vertebrates and flowering 
plants. On occasion generic species can correspond to local fragments of biologi- 
cal families (e.g., vulture) , orders (e.g., bat) and — 



, orders (e.g., bat) and — especially with invertebrates 
gical taxa (Atran 1987a; Berlin 1992). Folkgenerics may 
also be the categories most easily recognized, most commonly named and most 
easily learned by children in small-scale societies (Stross 1973). Indeed, 
ethnobiologists who otherwise differ in their views of folktaxonomy tend to agree 
that one level best captures discontinuities in nature and provides the fundamen- 
tal constituents in all systems of folkbiological categorization, reasoning and use 
(Bulmer 1974; Hunn 1982; Ellen 1993). 

In what follows, we use the term "generic species," rather than "folk genera/ 
folk generic" (Berlin 1972) or "folk species/folk specieme" (Bulmer 1970), for three 
reasons. First, a principled distinction between biological genus and species is 
not pertinent to local folk around the world. The most Dhenomenallv salient spe- 



mans, including mo 



ms and cacti belons to monos 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 21 



Hunn 



genus in a locale are often hard to distinguish, hence no readily perceptible mor- 
phological or ecological "gap" can be discerned between them (Diver 1940). 



// • • // 



second, the term generic species reflects a more accurate sense or the corre- 
spondence between psychologically privileged folkbiological groups and 



initial 



wide "Age of Exploration/' the number 



order of magnitude. Foreign species were habitually joined to the most similar 
European species; that is, to the generic type in a "natural system." Historically, 
then, the distinction between genus and species did not appear until the influx of 
newly discovered species from around the world compelled European naturalists 
to mnemonically manage them within a worldwide system of genera built around 



ma 



Third, the term "generic species" reflects their dual character. As privileged 
mnemonic groups, they are akin to genera in being those groups most readily 
apparent to the naked eye (Cain 1956). As privileged causal groups, they are akin 
to species in being the principal loci of evolutionary processes responsible for the 
appearance of biological diversity (Mayr 1969). In Western science, the dual char- 
acter of this privileged level of folkbiological taxonomy eventually "fissioned 
into species (Cesalpino 1583) and genera (Tournefort 1694). 

PpodIp in ^11 rnlhirpQ snnntaneouslv partition the ontoloeical categories ani 



// 



mal and plant into generic species in a virtually exhaustive manner. "Virtually 
exhaustive" means that when an organism is encountered that is not readily iden- 
tifiable as beloneine to a named generic species, it is still expected to belong to 



organism is often assimilated to one of the named taxa it resembles 



sometimes it is assiened an em 



// i « 



rutiny 



(e.g., "such-and-such a plant is some [generic-species] kind of tree," cf. Berlin in 
press). This partitioning of ontological categories seems to be part and parcel of 
the categories themselves: no plant or animal can fail in principle to belong uniquely 
to a generic species. 



Moreover, data from 
presume each distincti 



re living kind to have an "essence," or underlying 
isible for the typical appearance of that kind (Gelman 
and Wellman 1991). At first this presumption involves only global understanding 
that the readily visible outsides of living kinds are produced by, but perhaps dif- 
ferent from, their initially invisible insides. Children initially lack concrete or specific 
pieces of knowledge about each kind (Simmons and Keil 1995). Over time, they 
try to flesh out the causal properties of these presumed essences as responsible for 
growth (Hickling and Gelman 1995), inheritance (Springer and Keil 1989), and 
complementary functioning of distinct body parts in a living kind (Hatano and 
Inagaki 1994). Such intrinsic causal essences, which are universally presumed to 
be both teleological (unlike the mechanical causes affecting inert substances) and 
internally directed (unlike externally fashioned artifacts), appear to be unique to 



cognitive domain of living kinds and primari 



cies. 



c species may be further divided into folkspecifics. These taxa are 
binomially, with secondary lexemes. Compound names, like "white 



22 ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN Vol. 17, No.l 



oak" and "mountain robin." make 



generic species and its folkspecifics. Folkspecifics that have tradition of high cul- 
tural salience may be labeled with primary lexemes, such as "winesap" (a kind of 
apple tree) and "tabby" (a kind of cat). In general, whether and how a generic 



cultural 



lm 



exam 



trinomially, with 



lexemes that make transparent their taxonomic relationship with superordinat 



example "spotted white oak. 



n 



Thus, in addition to generic species, people everywhere tend to form groups 
that are both subordinate and superordinate to the level of privileged groups. This 
regular classification of "groups under groups... is not arbitrary like the grouping 



of stars in constellations" 



arwin 



anisms into a svstem 



designed to represent the embedded structure of life around us, with the generic- 
species level being most informative. In some cultures, but not all, people may 
develop "theories" of life that are meant to cover all living kinds, such as Western 
theories of biology (Carey 1985; Atran 1995a). But the very possibility of such theo- 
rizing would not exist without a universal construal of generic species to provide 
the transtheoretical basis for scientific speculation about the biological world. Dif- 
ferent biological theories — including evolutionary theory — initially arose to 
account for the apparent constancy of "common [generic] species" and for the 
apparent similarities and differences between them (Wallace 1889:1; Mayr 1969:37). 

Given these observations, results of psychological studies of privilege or 



taxonomic 



validity 



periments 



measures they found that there is indeed a "basic level" in category hierarchies of 
"naturally occurring objects," such as "taxonomies" of artifacts as well as living 
kinds (cf. Brown, Kolar, Torrey, Troung-Quang, and Volkman 1976). For artifact 
and living kind hierarchies, the basic level was where: (1) many common features 
are listed for categories, (2) consistent motor programs are employed for the inter- 
action with or manipulation of category exemplars, (3) category members have 
similar enough shapes so that it is possible to recognize an average shape for ob- 
jects of the category. For example, subjects were able to list many more features for 
chair or dog than for furniture or mammal, but few added features for kitchen 
chair or terrier. They could also readily construct an average image for chair or 
dog but not for furniture or mammal. Rosch et al. also found that basic-level cat- 
egories are preferred in adult naming, the level first learned by children, and at 
which categorization was fastest. 

Thus, work by Berlin and Rosch both indicate a privileged level in cat- 
egory hierarchies. Moreover, both claim that this privileged take on naturally 
occurring objects is directly tied to objective discontinuities in the real world. These 
objective discontinuities provide the information-rich bundles of perceptual at- 
tributes that presumably allow a domain-general perceptual processing mechanism 
to carve up nature at its fundamental joints. 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 23 



But here's the rub that motivates the present study: The basic level that Rosch 
et al. (1976) hypothesized for artifacts was confirmed (e.g., hammer, guitar); how- 
ever, the hypothesized basic level for living kinds (e.g., maple, trout), which Rosch 
initially presumed would accord with Berlin's generic rank, was not. Instead of 
maple and trout, Rosch et al. found that tree and fish operated as basic-level cat- 
egories for American college students. Except for very familiar animals (e.g., dog, 
chicken), Rosch's basic level for living kinds corresponds to Berlin's life-form level. 

To explore the cognitive basis for this apparent discrepancy between Berlin 
and Rosch, we introduce the examination of inductive inference into our study. 
Inductive inference allows people to extend knowledge beyond their immediate 
experience and beyond the information they are given, and is a crucial part of 
category formation and use (Rips 1975; Smith and Medin 1981). Although neither 
Berlin nor Rosch explicitly deal with inductive inference, such inferences are ar- 
guably central to understanding preference for certain categories. For what is 
privileged about cat relative to mammal or tabby is that the amount of informa- 
tion that can be inferred about the category may be maximized at the level of cat. 
Thus, knowing that a tabby eats fish, it may be prima facie reasonable to infer that 
all cats eat fish, but unreasonable to infer from this that all mammals eat fish. 
Moreover, knowing that a short-haired tabby eats fish is likely as good an indica- 
tion that all cats eat them as it is that all tabbies do. 

If a privileged level carries the most information about the world, categories 
at that level should strongly support a wide range of inferences about what is 
common among members. Inferences to a privileged category (e.g., white oak to 
oak, tabby to cat) should be much stronger than inferences to a superordinate 
category (e.g., oak to tree, cat to mammal). Moreover, inferences to a subordinate 
category (e.g., spotted white oak to white oak, short-haired tabby to tabby) should 
not be much stronger or different than inferences to a privileged category. 

The hypothesis motivating our experiment is that the privileged taxonomic 
level for biological induction is absolute, in the sense of remaining constant across 
culture, and not relative, in the sense of varying across cultures. Unlike relative 
privilege, absolute privilege is not primarily driven by general notions of per- 
ceived similarity, experience, or cultural expertise. Instead, the absolute inductive 
privilege of the generic-species level may be anchored in cognitive assumptions 
peculiar to a universal domain of folkbiology. The idea is that people everywhere 
presume essential kinds to be the main loci of causal processes that govern the 
apparent structure of the biological world, even if the superficial and underlying 
properties of such kinds are at first little known (Atran 1987b; Medin and Ortony 
1989; Gelman, Coley, and Gottfried 1994). 

Although we expect members of these widely divergent cultures to show ab- 
solute psychological privilege at the generic-species level, we may also find 
evidence of the effects of devolution of folkbiological knowledge leading to sec- 
ondary differences in induction patterns across cultures. Specifically, Dougherty 
(1978) argues that lack of contact with the natural world leads to knowledge de- 
cay at more specific levels; thus Americans may show secondary privilege for 
higher-order taxa. Likewise, Itzaj dependence on intimate interaction with the bio- 
logical world, coupled with a silviculture tradition, may lead to secondary privilege 
for lower-order taxa. 



24 ATRAN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



In addition to examining the competing claims of absolute versus relative privi- 
lege, our experiment must also deal with claims for a more general sort of reasoning 
heuristic, which we deem progressive privilege. What is missing from most per- 
ception-based or similarity-based accounts of category formation in class-inclusion 
hierarchies is an explanation of how inferences are made across the taxonomy 
from one category to another. Such an explanation is necessary to understand the 
work that categories do in taxonomic reasoning, and is crucial to any understand- 
ing of underlying (biological) relationships. In one of the most elegant attempts to 
explain similarity-based taxonomic inference to date, Osherson, Smith, Wilkie, 
Lopez, and Shafir (1990) depict an inferential argument as categorical if its pre- 
mises and conclusion take the form All members of C have property P, where C is a 
natural category like ROBIN or BIRD, and P remains the same across premises 
and conclusions. An example is Guernsey cows are susceptible to mad cow disease; 
therefore all cows are susceptible to mad cow disease. The argument is psychologically 
strong to the extent that belief in its premises engenders belief in its conclusion. 
Osherson et al.'s model is based exclusively on an evaluation of the perceived or 
presumed similarities between premise and conclusion categories. 

The prediction of progressive privilege that follows from this model is that 
for any given premise category held constant at a particular taxonomic level, ar- 
gument strength should decrease the higher the level of the conclusion category. 
Thus, inductive strength should decrease incrementally from varietal to specific, 
varietal to generic species, varietal to life form, and varietal to kingdom. Also, for 
any given conclusion category held constant at a particular level, argument strength 
should increase as one changes the premise category to one that is closer to the 
conclusion category. For example, inductive strength from varietal to generic spe- 
cies should be less than from specific to generic species. 5 By contrast, our hypothesis 
entails that absolute rather than progressive privilege will account for inference 
patterns across folkbiological ranks. 



METHODS 

Itzaj participants. — Twelve Itzaj — six men and six women — living in the village 
of San lose, Peten, Guatemala participated in the study. 6 Itzaj are Maya Amerindians 
living in the tropical forest region of Peten, Guatemala. Until recently, men de- 
voted their time to shifting agriculture, hunting, and silviculture, whereas women 
concentrated on the myriad tasks of household maintenance. The Itzaj comprised 
the last independent native polity to be conquered by Spaniards (in 1697), and 
have preserved virtually all ethnobiological knowledge recorded for Lowland Maya 
since the time of the initial Spanish conquest (Atran 1993). Despite the current 
awesome rate of deforestation and demise in use of Itzaj language and culture, the 
ethic of traditional Maya silviculture is still very much in evidence among the 
generation of our informants who range in age from 50 to 80 years old (Atran, 
Medin, Lynch, Ross, Vapnarsky, and Ucan Ek' in press). Participants spoke Span- 
ish as well as Itzaj, but testing was exclusively in Itzaj. They were acquainted with 
the first author, and at relative ease in the testing situation. All were compensated 
for their participation. 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 25 



Michigan participants. — The 21 American participants were five men and 16 women 
who ranged in age from 17 to 25. They were self-identified as people raised in 
Michigan, and recruited through an advertisement in a local campus newspaper. 
All were paid for their participation. 

Itzaj materials. — Based on extensive field work with the Itzaj, we chose a set of Itzaj 
folkbiological categories of the kingdom (K), life-form (L), generic-species (G), 
folkspecific (S), and varietal (V) ranks. We selected three plant life forms: che' = 
'tree 7 , ak' = 'vine', pok~che' = 'herb' /'underbrush'. We also selected three animal 
life forms: b'a'al~che' kuximal = 'walking animal', i.e., mammal, ch'iich' - 'birds 
including bats', kay = 'fish'. Three generic-species taxa were chosen from each life 
form such that each generic species had a subordinate folkspecific, and each 
folkspecific had a salient varietal. 7 Although some Itzaj life-form names are com- 
posites (e.g., b' a' al~ che' kuximal) while others are primary lexemes (e.g., ch'iich'), 
previous experiments indicate that this linguistic difference has no impact on infer- 
ence patterns within Itzaj life forms (Lopez et al. in press; Atran in press). Categories 
used and their approximate English translations are presented in Table 1. 



TABLE 1. — Natural kind stimuli used in Itzaj study. 



Folk Kingdom Life Form Generic Species Folk Specific Varietal 

animal (b'a'al~che' kuximal & ch'iich' & kay) 

mammal (b'a'al~che') 

agouti (tzu') 



green agouti (ya'ax tzu') 

large green agouti (noj ya'ax tzu') 



squirrel (ku'uk) 

red squirrel (chak ku'uk) 

female red squirrel (chak ku'uk uchupal) 

spider monkey (tuuchaj) 

black spider monkey (b'ox tuuchaj) 



male black spider monkey (b'ox tuuchaj 



uxib'al) 



h') 



vulture (ch'om) 



black vulture (b'ox ch'om) 



hawk (ch'uy) 



red-headed black vulture (b'ox ch'om chak 
upol) 



water hawk (ch'uy-il ja') 

black water hawk (b'ox ch'uy-il j a*) 



(kolonte') 



kolonte') 



fish (kay) 



black-backed red woodpecker 
(chak kolonte' b'ox upach) 



catfish (lu ) 



village catfish (lu'-il kaj) 

large village catfish (noj lu'-il kaj) 



26 ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN Vol. 17, No.l 



TABLE 1. — Continued. 



Folk Kingdom Life Form Generic Species Folk Specific Varietal 



(b'ox) 

yo'mojara (yo' b'ox) 



small yo'mojara {mo'nok yo' b'ox) 



sardine (chilam) 



fco 



red-tailed sardine (chak~nej chilam) 

male red-tailed sardine (chak-nej chilam 

uxib'al) 



(che') 



tree (p'ut) 

village papaya tree (p'ut-il kaj) 

yellow village papaya tree (k'iin put'-il 







kaj) 



savanna 



green joom savanna nance tree (ya'ax 
joom chi' chakan) 



hogplum tree (ab'al) 

forest hogplu 



(p 



k'aax) 



(job 



che') 



male cordoncillo (pu'uk che' uxib'al) 



uxib'al kits chawak) 
ip'ak) 

breast tomato (chu'chu' p'ak) 



(p 



sweet breast tomato (ch'uuk chu'chu' p'ak) 



chili pepper (ifc) 



sweet chili pepper (ch'uuk ik) 



JO 



red sweet chili pepper (chiik ch'uuk ik) 



bean (b'u'ul) 



bean 



squash (k'uum) 



red tzama bean (chiik tzama' b'u'ul) 



chuyut squash (chuyut k'uum) 

spring chayut squash (k'ik'i'ix chuyut 
k'uum) 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 27 



Pretesting with Itzaj (Atran 1995b; Lopez et al. in press; Atran in press) showed 
that participants were willing to make inferences about hypothetical diseases. The 
properties chosen for animals were diseases related to the 'heart 7 (puksik'al), 'blood' 
(k'ik'el), and 'liver' (tamen). For plants, diseases related to the 'roots' (motz), 'sap' 

flJ.^\ A _^ J /l Cf /f_/\ Tl - -%^1 _ -1 ^„ J:„_ l„ Ti_ * 1 !• t. _1 * 



') 



Thus 



in addition to identifying the biological organ 'heart' in animals 
sence' or 'heart' in both animals and plants. The term motz dene 



initial 



principal vehicle for conveying life from 



throughout the body. Itz' denotes 'sap', which functions as the plant's k'ik'el 



animal 



The le', or 'leaf, is the final 



Properties used for inferences about animals had the form, "is susceptible to a 
disease of the <blood> called <X>." Similarly, properties used for plant inferences 
had the form, "is susceptible to a disease of the <root> called <X>." For each indi- 
vidual question, "X" was replaced with a phonologically appropriate nonsense 
name (e.g., "eta") in order to minimize the repetitiveness of the task. The disease 

types were randomized across trials. 

Each participant responded to a total of 53 questions in which he/she was 
told that all members of a category had a property (the premise), and asked whether 
all," "few," or "no" members of a higher-level category (the conclusion category) 



// 



rm 



tegory 
bird), generic-species (e.g., G = vulture, i.e., aj-ch'om 



ma 



Cathartidae), folkspecific (e.g., S= black vulture, i.e., aj-b'ox ch'om = Catliartes aura), 
or varietal (e.g., V = red-headed black vulture, i.e, aj-b'ox chom chak u-pol = 
ture exemplars of Cathartes aura ). The conclusion was drawn from a higher-level 
category, either kingdom (e.g., K = animal), life-form (L), generic-species (G), or 
folkspecific (S). Thus, there were ten possible combinations of premise and con- 
clusion category levels: L^K, G-^K, G-L, S*K, S-HL, S*G, V-^K, V-HL, V^G, 
and V-^S. For example, a folkspecific-to-life form (S*L) question might be, "If all 
black vultures are susceptible to the blood disease called eta, are all other birds 



susceptible?" If a participant answers "no/ then the lollow-up question wouia d 
"Are some or a few other birds susceptible to disease eta, or no other birds at all? 



// 



S-^K, V 



category 



K, G^K, 



names 



term 



thing') polysemously refers to: (a) the animal kingdom 



more 



{b'a'al~che' kuximal = 'mammals' or 'walking animals 
= 'reptiles' or 'slithering animals', b'a'al-che' kusiit = 
animals'); (c) the mammals alone. Moreover, as in many languages (Brown 



lans 



kingdom in Itzaj, although there is a numeral 



inly plants 



maize 



lant maize'). So, for inferences with a conclusion category of animals or 
the category was presented as a concatenation of major life forms not men- 
in the premise. For example, "If all papaya trees were susceptible to disease 



28 



ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



vines 



"8 



"beta" of th 
susceptible? 

Michigan materials .—The corresponding life forms for the American students were: 
mammal, fish, tree, bush, and flower (on "flower" as an American life form see 
Dougherty 1979). From each life form, we selected three subclasses (e.g., for tree: 
oak, maple, pine), chosen on predominantly linguistic grounds to correspond to 
taxa of the generic-species rank. Specifically, generic species are salient taxa often 
named by simple, primary lexemes (unanalyzable names such as maple or eagle) 
whose immediate superordinates (life-form taxa) are also named by primary 
lexemes (tree, bird). We selected subclasses of generic-species taxa to correspond 
to folkspecifics and varietals, using secondary and tertiary lexemes: for example, 
sugar maple and spotted sugar maple, or bald eagle and white-collared bald eagle. 
A complete list of categories used is given in Table 2. 9 



TABLE 2 



kind stimuli used in Michi 



Folk 
Kingdom 

Animal 



Life Form 



Generic 
Species 



Mammal 



Deer 
Tiger 



Folk Specific 

Whitetail Deer 
Bengal Tiger 



Varietal 



Squirrel 



Gray Squirrel 



Bird 



Lark 

Eagle 

Sparrow 



Northern Whitetail Deer 
White-collared Bengal 

Tiger 
Brown-backed Gray 

Squirrel 
Northern Meadow Lark 
White-collared Bald Eagle 



Meadow Lark 

Bald Eagle 

House Sparrow Brown-backed House 



Fish 



Trout 
Shark 



Rainbow Trout 
Hammerhead 
Shark 



Sparrow 
Northern Rainbow Trout 

White-collared 

Hammerhead Shark 



Bass 



Largemouth Bass Brown-backed 



Plant 



Tree 



Maple 

Oak 

Pine 



Bush 



Elderberry American 



Juniper 



Largemouth Bass 
Spotted Sugar Maple 
Common Red Oak 
Eastern White Pine 

Spotted 
American Elderberry 
Eastern Juniper Eastern Rocky-Mountain 



Sugar Maple 
Red Oak 
White Pine 



Elderberry 



Flower 



Azalea 
Lily 

Violet 



Torch Azalea 
Day Lily 

Blue Violet 



Juniper 
Common Torch Azalea 

Eastern Day Lily 
Common Blue Violet 



Marigold Marsh Marigold Spotted Marsh Marigold 



X, 



„ ,P e P ro P erties u r f ed in questions for Michigan students 



// 



enzyme 



and 



have protein 



These 



^^ WologicaUy-based properties intrinsic to the kind in _ 

answering what amounted to factual 



make inductive inferences based on taxonomic 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



29 



membership (Osherson et ah 1990; Heit and Rubinstein 1994). Because some Michi- 



gan participants would refuse to give extreme answers of "all" and /or "none," 
the possible response categories used were "all or virtually all," "some or few," 
and "none or virtually none." Again, ten types of questions, varying levels of 
premise and conclusion categories, were presented. Each Michigan participant was 
presented with a total of 56 questions. 

Itzaj procedure. — Questions were presented in random order, varying question lev- 
els (premise and conclusion), life-form and generic species, and disease type. The 
procedure was carried out in the Itzaj Maya language. Participants were tested in 
San Jose, Peten, Guatemala, in either a field research station or in homes in the 
town. Participants were told that foreign researchers wished to learn more about 
the plants and animals of Peten, and that the Itzaj could help with this. 

Michigan procedure - 
dom order, varvine c 



The 



out in a laboratory setting. 



enzyme 



RESULTS 



// 



in 



all or 



times 



virtually all" responses for each ques 

dents agreed that if red oaks had a property, all or virtually all oaks would have 

that property). Second, we calculated "response scores" ' 

response of "all or virtually all" as 3, ' 



item 



some 



as 2, and "none or virtually 



none 



// 



more 



inference 



multiple comparisons 



performed 



FIGURE 1. 



LEVEL of 
PREMISE 
CATEGORY 



IFE-FORM 



Figure la 

Results: Itzaj 



all lifeforms, all diseases, both sexes 




lOOX^ 
80%- 

60X- 
40 




ENERIC 

SPECIES 




FOLK 

"ECIF1C 



20X- 

0X 
100X-, 

80X- 

60 X- 

40 

20X4 

OX 

100X- 

B0X- 
60X- 



100X-. 




LEVEL of 

CONCLUSION 
CATEGORY 



8* 
OX 



6* 
0% 







12* 

0* 



KrFOLK 
INGD0M 







16* 
6* 



responses: 
"none" □ 



few 



"all 




49* 






21* 




44* 





FE-F0RM 



G O F0LK 
ENERIC VPECIFIC 
CDtrricc V^ 



SPECIES 



Figurelb 

Results: Michigan 
all lifeforms, all diseases 



LEVEL of 
PREMISE 
CATEGORY ]00tn 

IFE-FORM 





ENERIC 

SPECIES 






FOLK 

CIRC 



20X- 

ox 
ioox-3 

80X- 

V'ARIETAL eox: 
40X-i 

20 X 

OX 

LEVEL of 

CONCLUSION 

CATEGORY 



responses: 
"none" D 




97* 



67* 



INGD0M [IFE-FORM 



0LK 

ECIFIC 



30 ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN Vol. 17, No.l 



The main results of the present study are depicted graphically in Figure 1. 
Figure 1 summarizes the results from Itzaj and Michigan informants collapsed 



across life forms, and shows the proportion of "all/' "some /few," and "none re- 
sponses. For example, given an inference from the folkspecific rank to the 
generic-species rank (hereafter S-^G, e.g., "If all red squirrels have a property, will 
all squirrels have that property?"), 49% of responses indicated that "all" squirrels, 
(rather than "some" or "none") would possess the property given that red squir- 
rels did. 

The results are organized to address three major questions. First, is the ge- 
neric-species rank absolutely privileged with respect to inductive inference? 
Second, is there evidence for relative privilege in folkbiological reasoning pat- 
terns, such as devolution of inductive preference to the life-form level among 
Americans or uneradine of inductive nreference at the folksnecific level among 



Third 



monotonic decrease in inference streneth from 



higher ranks? After initially addressing these questions, we refine our presenta- 



form 



Moving along the main 
Is of both the premise ai 



level the same (with the conclusion level one higher than the premise level). Mov- 
ing horizontally within each graph corresponds to changing the conclusion category 
while leaving the premise category constant. Both of these comparisons bear on 
the question of the absolute privilege of the generic-species rank. Finally, moving 
vertically within each graph corresponds to changing the premise category while 
holding the conclusion category constant. These comparisons are relevant to the 
Osherson et al. hypothesis of taxonomically progressive privilege. 

Absolute privilege of the generic species.— First, we ask whether induction patterns 
point to a single inductively privileged level. Coley, Medin, and Atran (in press) 
examined inferences from a given rank to the adjacent higher-order rank (i.e., V-^S, 
S~*~G, G-^L, L-*-K), and found a sharp decline in inference strength to taxa above 
the generic-species level. This elbow in the curve indicated that both American 
students and Itzaj elders inductively privilege generic-species. We expect the same 
pattern: V^-S and S^G inferences should be nearly equal and similarly strong, 
and there should be a significant drop in the strength of inferences for taxa ranked 
higher than the generic species. 

As can be seen in Figure 1, results support the view that the generic-species is 
privileged for both American and Itzaj informants. As predicted, proportions of 
"all" responses do not differ between V-^S and S-^G responses, but drop signifi- 



between S-^G and G^HL inductions: using a within-subiect ANOVA 



comparisons 



Michi 



gan participants t(259) - 10.38, p<.0001. Finally, G*L inferences do not differ from 
L-^K differences. An examination of combined "all," "few," and "none" response 

same pattern. For both Itzai and Michigan narticiDants, only the 



difference between S-^G and G 



gnificant along the main 



nal: Itzaj t(134) = 8.99, p<.0001; Michigan t(259) = 10.60, p<.0001. 

Another way to examine the idea of absolute privilege is to hold the premise 
constant and examine variations in inductive strength to vWd conclusion cat- 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 31 



egories. Moving horizontally in Figure 1, if the premise is held constant and the 
conclusion category varied for "all" responses, then Itzaj inferences to the generic- 
species level are still consistently higher than to the life-form level: for S-»-L vs. 
S-M3, t(134) = 6.32, p<.0005; for V-^L vs. V-*~G, t(134) = 5.70, p<.0005. Inferences to 
folkspecifics do not differ significantly from those to generic species, and infer- 
ences to life forms do not differ from those to the folk kingdom. For the Americans, 
the pattern is almost identical: For S-^L vs. &*-G, t(247) = 8.94, p<.0005; for V-*-L 
vs. V-»~G, t(244) = 11.41, p<.0005. Inferences to folkspecifics are no stronger than 

those to generic species. 

In sum, inferences to the generic species and lower ranks were high and equiva- 
lent, and a sharp drop or elbow in inductive strength was found for inferences 
ranked higher than the generic species. This pattern provides further support for 
the view that in widely divergent cultures, taxa of the generic-species rank are 
privileged for inductive inference. 

Relative privilege in folkbiological reasoning patterns. — We also looked for evidence of 



ranks 



knowledge 



among silvicultural Maya through 



texperienced Americans ar 
same rank, argues against 



simple relativist account of cultural differences in folkbiological knowledge 



ever, the overall effects of cultural experience on folkbiological reasoning may be 
reflected in more subtle ways that do not undermine the absolute privilege of the 

generic species across cultures. 

Holding the premise category constant and varying the level of the conclu- 
sion category, we find in combined response scores some evidence for increased 
inductive strength for higher-order taxa for Americans versus Itzaj. Both Ameri- 
cans and Itzaj show the largest break between inferences to generic species versus 
life forms, but Americans show a consistent pattern of rating inferences to life- 



form 



Kvs.G-^Lt(253) 



= 4.81, p<.0005; S*K vs. S*L t(253) = 5.33, p<.0005; V-K vs. V-L t(242) = 5.76, 
p<.0005. Itzaj show no such differences. Although for Americans both the generic- 
species and life-form levels are "special" inductively, the generic species is still 

significantly more so. 

In contrast, overall response scores indicate that Itzaj privilege only generic 
species. But the possibility remains that Maya ecological expertise, particularly in 
the realm of silviculture, does add marginally significant inductive strength to the 
lower rank. We further explore this possibility below through regression analysis 
and an examination of each life form. 

Progressive privilege across taxonomic ranks.— By extension, the similarity-based 
model of taxonomic reasoning proposed by Osherson et al. (1990) predicts that 
inductive strength should be a monotonically decreasing function of the rank dis- 
tance between premise and conclusion categories; that is, the closer the premise 
category is to the conclusion category, the stronger the argument should be. In 
other words, the Similarity-Coverage model predicts that inductive strength should 
increase if one holds the conclusion category constant and increases the level of 



32 



ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



the premise category. We were able to directly test this hypothesis by moving ver- 
tically through Figure 1. 

Results reveal little support for this hypothesis. When "all" responses are con- 
sidered for the Itzaj, varying the level of the premise category does not change 
inductive strength. For the Michigan participants, two such comparisons produced 
significant differences. First, S-*-L inferences were reliably higher than V-*~L infer- 
ences: t(249) = 2.79, p =.03. However, this pattern was not continued at the next 
rank: G-*-L inferences are no stronger than S^L. Second, L-»-K inferences were 
reliably higher than G-*~K inferences: t(169) = 3.07, p =.01. For example, partici- 
pants consider it significantly more likely that all animals have a protein X if they 
are told that all birds possess it than if told that all larks possess it. 

responses are considered, results 



When combined "all," "few," and 



"none" 



are identical for Itzaj; varying the level of the premise category does not change 
inductive strength. Likewise for the Americans, the only significant difference in 
the predicted direction is that L-^K inferences are higher than G-^K inferences: 
t(169) = 3.73, p =.002. In sum, our results show that only for Michigan informants 
does a single premise change (G-»-K vs. L-^K) consistently produce a significant 
increase in inductive strength for "all" responses as well a combined "all, 



few 



and 



"none" 



responses. The lion's share of inductive strength for both the Ameri- 
cans and the Maya is based almost entirely on the conclusion category no matter 
how distant the premise category, especially if the conclusion is a generic-species. 
This does not support Osherson et al. (1990). 

Regression analysis.— An alternative 



method 



Premise 



well as life form, type of question asked, and the sex of the participant. The 
of this regression are shown in Table 3. 



TABLE 3.— Results: Regression analyses. For each factor partial correlation (% of 



m 



Itzaj: 



Conclusion = K vs. L G S 
Conclusion = K L vs. G S 
Conclusion = K L G vs. S 
Premise = L vs. G S V 
Premise = L G vs. S V 
Premise = L G S vs. V 



sex of participant = male 
life-form = fish 
life-form = vine 



'all' vs. 
'few'/'t 



7fi 



'none' 



-.086 (0.7%) 
-.428 (18.3%) 
-.135 (1.8%) 

+.033 (0.1%) 
+.010 (0.0%) 
+.022 (0.0%) 



-.149 (2.2%) 
-.601 (36.1%) 

-.055 (0.3%) 
+.001 (0.0%) 
+.008 (0.0%) 
-.059 (0.3%) 



other significant factors 



+.204 (4.2%) 
+.121 (1.5%) 
-.088 (0.8%) 



+.150 (2.3%) 
+.167 (2.8%) 



response score R 



-.148 (2.2%) 
-.610 (37.2%) 
-.117 (1.4%) 

+.001 (0.0%) 
+.011 (0.0%) 
-.016 (0.0%) 



+.218 (4.8%) 
+.189 (3.6%) 



other significant main effects for: other life form; any disease type 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



33 



TABLE 3.— Continued. 










'all' vs. ' 


'all'/' few' vs. 




Michigan: 


few'/'none' 


'none' 


response score R 


Conclusion = K vs. L G S 


-.090 (0.8%) 


-.296 (8.8%) 


-.257 (6.6%) 


Conclusion = K L vs. G S 


-.508 (25.8%) 


-.183 (3.4%) 


-.442 (19.5%) 


Conclusion = K L G vs. S 


-.026 (0.1%) 


-.034 (0.1%) 


-.049 (0.2%) 


Premise = L vs. G S V 


+.098 (1.0%) 


+.124 (1.5%) 


+.140 (1.9%) 


Premise = L G vs. S V 


+.023 (0.1%) 


+.020 (0.0%) 


+.016 (0.0%) 


Premise = L G S vs. V 


+.049 (0.2%) 


+.101 (1.0%) 


+.099 (1.0%) 


other significant factors 


sex of participant = male 


+.101 (1.0%) 




+.059 (0.4%) 


question = disease 


+.063 (0.4%) 






life form = mammal 




-.122 (1.5%) 


-.066 (0.4%) 


life form = bird 




-.066 (0.4%) 




life form = fish 




-.089 (0.8%) 





gnificant main effects for: other life form; any question type 



Absolute privilege.— For Itzaj, the lion's share of the variance (37.2%) is accounted 
for by whether the conclusion category is either above the generic-species level or 
not, once again indicating the privileged status of the generic-species rank. By 
comparison, the splits based on the life-form and folkspecific conclusion levels 
account for much less of the variance (2.2% and 1.4%, respectively). There are, 
however, two other significant factors. First, the sex of participant is notable: male 
subjects gave significantly stronger inductions than females (4.8%). Second, the 
fish life form stands out: Itzaj give stronger inductions for fish (3.6%). This is most 
likely because the Itzaj believe water is the best carrier of disease. 10 For American 
subjects, the generic-species level conclusion is most privileged (19.5% of the vari- 
ance for a conclusion level of K-or-L vs. G-or-S, versus 6.6% and 0.2% for splits 
based respectively on the life-form and folkspecific conclusion levels). Again, the 
generic-species emerges as the overall privileged rank for induction. 



Relative privilege. 



an 



among the Itzaj that was absent among Michiga 



Itzaj participants, the folkspecific level accounted 

ance (1.4%) beyond the generic-species. For Michigan participants, unlike the Itzaj, 

the folkspecific level is not differentiated from the generic-species level (0.2%, not 

significant) . 

This analysis also confirmed stronger inferences to higher-order taxa among 
Americans than Itzaj. For Americans, the life-form split has relatively strong ef- 
fects (6.6% versus 2.2% for Itzaj). This effect of life-form level conclusion stems 

- _ ^ f til _ — — ^-^ .-«*. * «r j**. >^ I j-» fcw m mm 



almost entirely from an increase in "few 
ther evidence of North American 



Thus, regression reveals fur 



life /< 



—Results conform to our expectations: taxa of the 



generic-species rank are inductively privileged for both Amer ^ansand Itza J^ it ^ 
use of general reasoning heuristics is seen, and American f " L - -~ - *" 



34 



ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



patterns are somewhat devolved relative to those of the Itzaj. Yet, this pattern var- 
ies somewhat by life form for both groups. For Itzaj, the main pattern, in which 
only generic species are privileged, is shown for mammal, bird, herb, and vine life 
forms. For fish, however, the key conclusion level appears to be the life form (fish), 
not the generic-species (catfish, mojara, sardine). As noted above, Itzaj believe water 
to be a privileged carrier of disease, so there may be a confound with the property 
used in the inductions. 

For the Itzaj tree life form, there is a significant difference between inductions 
using conclusions at the generic-species versus f olkspecific levels suggesting that 
Itzaj confer special privileged status upon tree folkspecifics. Itzaj are forest-dwell- 
ing Maya who have a long tradition of agroforestry that antedates the Spanish 
conquest (Atran 1993). A strong ethic of reciprocity in silviculture still pervades 
the Itzaj, which involves Maya tending trees in order that the forest tend the Maya 
(Atran et al. in press). Figure 2 indicates that the special knowledge and expertise 
that Itzaj have concerning trees thus conceivably translates into an upgrading of 
biological interest in tree folkspecifics. In sum, the Itzaj pattern reflects both the 
overall privilege of the generic species as well as the importance of lower-level 
distinctions, at least for kinds of trees. 



FIGURE 2. 



LEVEL of 
PREMISE 
CATEGORY 

4 





ENERIC 

SPECIES 




FOLK 
ECIFIC 



Results: Itzaj, tree lifeform 



100% 
80% 



IFE-FORM 60 * 



40% 
20% 



0% 
100% 

80% 

60% 

40% 

20% 

0% 
100% 

80% 

60% 

40% 

20% 

0% 
100% 

80% 




ARIETAL 60% 



40% 
20% 

0% 



LEVEL of 

CONCLUSION 
CATEGORY 



responses: 



none" □ 




few 




"all 




0% 








FOLK 

INGD0M 







p*^**** 1 *** ■ ■ ■ ■ * 



92% 
75% 




FE-F0RM 




(tree) 



ENERIC 

SPECIES 
(papaya, nonce, 

hogplum) 




FOLK 

ECIFIC 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 35 



Michigan participants show an exclusive generic-species pattern for the bush 
and flower life forms. The situation is more complicated for other types of organ- 
isms. For fish, there is a significant difference in the proportion of "all" responses 
for S-^L vs. S-^K inductions (39% vs. 4%, t(44) = 2.99, adjusted p =0.02), which 
helps produce an overall difference in response score (t(44) = 3.41, p =0.008). Simi- 
larly, there is a marginally significant increase in the proportion of "all" responses 
for birds when the conclusion category is "bird" (L) instead of "animal" (K) (25% 
vs. 0%, t(38) = 2.31, p = .1). In both cases, Michigan subjects confer some privileged 
status upon the life-form conclusion categories "fish" and "bird" (although less 
privilege than the generic-species level, for which pairwise comparisons are sig- 
nificant between adjacent horizontal cells). 



GENERAL DISCUSSION 



The data presented above clearly indicate a decisive break in inductive strength 
just above the rank of generic species. The results highlight the generic-species 
rank as inductively privileged for both American college students and Itzaj Maya. 
This perhaps surprising commonalitv contrasts with oth 



knowledge 



upgrading of Maya knowledge, which mitigates the exclusive privilege of the ge- 
neric species. We find that the Americans have more faith in inferences to 
superordinate life-form taxa than Itzaj, and Itzaj differentiate among subordinate 

taxa more than do the North Americans. 

In a previous attempt to reconcile the discrepancy between Berlin's observa- 
tions and Rosch's data, Dougherty (1978) argued that the basic level is a variable 
phenomenon that shifts as a function of general cultural significance and indi- 
vidual familiarity and expertise (cf. Tanaka and Taylor 1991). Thus, most folk in 
industrial societies have little familiarity with, knowledge of, and use for various 
species of trees, fish, birds, and so forth. As familiarity with the biological world 
decreases, there is a gradual attrition of folkbiological knowledge up the hierar- 
chy, with the basic level devolving from the generic-species to life-form levels. So 
far so good. But the devolution story makes a stronger prediction: the privileged 
level for a small-scale society living close to nature should be subordinate to the 
privileged level for an industrialized society. Our data evinces no such pattern. 
We now take up the implications of these findings. 



ignitive anthropology, D'Andrade 



competing accounts 



// 



learning 



natural kinds." One position, which he attributes to Atran, holds that evolution 
has disposed humans to "learn that plants and animals form natural kinds with a 
special ease and readiness." A competing position, which D'Andrade attributes to 
Rosch, holds that natural kinds are universally learned so rapidly because "natu- 
ral kinds have very special structures with many co-occurring attributes." He argues 
that the debate is presently undecided because: 

evidence for a universal theory of essences is not at this point compelling. How- 



gnitiv 



theory 



that people have models of plants and animals that implicitly contain the ideas of 



kind 



36 ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN Vol. 17, No.l 



In what follows, we suggest that such a model of essences for plants and a 
mals is implied by our data , and that this model is specific to the domain 
folkbiology (cf. Atran 1987b). Nevertheless, our data also suggest a significant t 
secondary role for general, experience-based heuristics. 



In 



taxonomy, there has been little attempt 



mechanisms 



model," arguably the most 



Hunn's (1976) "perceptual 



model accords with Rosch's (1973, 1978) general account of the cognitive structure 
of perceptual and semantic categories in hierarchical structures. These are vari- 
ants of what psychologists call "similarity-based models" (Smith and Medin 1981), 
which organize perceptually identifiable categories on the basis of correlation or 



stimulus attributes. With such models 



numerous times. This implies, as Boster (I 
I similarity judgments is in the world, not in 



multiple in< 



the source of 



// 



having 



from a similarity 



only when a dog is present, then their co-occurrence will probably figure in all 
and only those feature-sets generally associated with the category dog. The mind 
will "automatically" tend to cluster perceptible features into "gestalts" of maxi- 
mally covariant attributes, or basic-level categories, because of the "objective" 
discontinuities that exist in nature. Notice that for the model to work, it is not 
imperative that any particular feature always be necessary for defining category 
membership, nor that a given set of features always be sufficient. All that is re- 
family resemblance" among 
community ot attributes (Rosch and Mervis 1975; Hunn 1982). 

Because the processing mechanism is a general-purpose device that can pick 
ut perceptual stimuli from whatever source, it should operate across any cogn 
ve domain that involves seoarated cluster* r»f narronii^i affr;K,,* oc Thic inrlndf 



exem 



// 



l- 



categories occurring naturally in everyday biological and social contexts as well 
as those constructed (e.g., artifacts). Later research has tended to confirm Rosch et 
al.'s findings, further showing that the basic level extends to artificial and natural 
categories, as the level that people most readily recognize and which children most 
easily name and learn (Waxman 1991; cf. Lassaline, Wisniewski, and Medin 1992). 
The same attribute-clustering strategy can be applied recursively at higher and 
lower levels (Hunn 1976). Thus, the simultaneous presence of fur and live-born 
offspring might figure in the feature-set that distinguishes the category mammal 
from other superordinate-level life forms, such as bird, fish and so forth. Similarly, 
a large body-length to body-height ratio, when added to the feature-gestalt for 
dog, might figure in the feature-set that distinguishes the subordinate-level cat- 
egory dachsund from other types of dog. The basic level, then, is that above which 
relatively much mformation is lost, and below which little information is gained. 
1 hat is, there is a large gain in information when going from the superordinate or 
lile-rorm level to the basic level, and there is only a slight gain in information 
going from the basic level to the subordinate or «^i<*„ il„i 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 37 



Thus 



could be a function of correlated features or properties producing natural clusters 



which 



egory organization and reasoning involving categories (Anderson 1990). 
Compelling at this view is, however, it is inadequate to describe our findings (cf. 
Medin 1989). The challenge is to explain why the generic-species rank is privi- 
leged for both Maya, who have relatively extensive contact with the natural 
environment, and American students, who have relatively little. The key problem 
is that the linguistic and perceptual criteria for basicness used by Rosch et al. point 



form 



more 



The inadequacy in such accounts of privileged levels may be failure to distin 
guish domain-general perceptual mechanisms for best clustering stimuli, fron 
domain-specific mechanisms for best determining loci of biological information 
To explain Rosch's data, it may indeed be sufficient to rely on domain-general 
similarity-based mechanisms. Such mechanisms may generate a basic level in an> 
number of cognitive domains, but not the privileged level of folkbiology. To ex- 
plain Berlin's data may require, in addition to domain-generic perceptual heuristics 
domain-specific mechanisms for the formation of biological categories that are 



milarity 



lines, a "living-kind module" would involve a domain-specific 



may 



teleo-essentialist" (Atran 1995a; 
innate, principles lead people to 



morpho-typical patterns 



well 



duced by an underlying essence. The nature of this essence is initially unknown, 
but presumed. The learner (e.g., a child) then attempts to discover how essences 
govern the heritable teleological relations between visible parts, how they link 
initially ill-perceived internal parts to morpho-typical parts through canonical 
patterns of irreversible growth, and how they determine the stable and complex 
functioning of visible and non-obvious parts. Virtually all p ' * " ' 



cannot 



"research program," 



compels them to deepen and extend the domain of information 



taxonomic 



cies. 



Notice that a generic species may fail to be "basic" in Rosch's sense of a maxi- 
mally rich cluster of readily available perceptual information, but still privileged 
as a maximally rich bundle of anticipated biological information. In other words, 
domain-specific constraints on categorization and category-based reasoning may 
diverge from domain-general constraints. When and where they do, the expecta- 
tion is that domain-specific constraints are paramount. 

In small-scale societies, adults as well as children learn about generic species 
just by being told about them, or by seeing a single instance. In our society, one 
need only describe a single instance in a picture book or point to an isolated ex- 
ample in a zoo or museum to have an adult or child instantly extend that poor and 
fragmentary instance of experience to indefinitely extendible category. The taxo- 
nomic position of the category is immediately fixed as a generic species. This fixture 



38 ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN Vol. 17, No.l 



"automatically" carries with it a complex internal structure that is partially pre- 
sumed and partially inferred, but by no means directly known. 

How can people conceive of a given category as a generic species without 
primarily relying on perception? Ancillary encyclopedic knowledge often may be 
crucial. Thus, one may have detailed perceptual knowledge of dogs but not of 
oaks. Yet a story that indicates where an oak lives, or how it looks or grows, or that 
its life is menaced may be sufficient to trigger the presumption that oaks comprise 
a generic species just like dogs do. But such cultural learning produces the same 
results under widely divergent conditions of experience in different social and 
ecological environments. This indicates that the learning itself is strongly moti- 
vated by cross-culturally shared cognitive mechanisms that do not depend 
primarily on experience. 

In conjunction with encyclopedic knowledge of what is already known for the 
natural world, language is important in targeting privileged kinds by triggering 
biological expectations in the absence of actual experience or knowledge of those 
kinds (Gelman and Coley 1991). Language alone, however, would not suffice to 
induce the expectation that little or poorly known generic species are more bio- 
logically informative than better known life forms for Americans. Some other 
process must invest the generic-species level with inductive potential. Language 
alone can only signal that such an expectation is appropriate for a given lexical 
item; it cannot determine the nature of that expectation. Why presume that an 
appropriately tagged item is the locus of a "deep" causal nexus of biological prop- 
erties and relationships? Why suppose at all that there is such a nexus that 
spontaneously justifies and motivates expectations, inferences, and explorations 

relating little known or nonobvious aspects of a presumably fundamental biologi- 
cal reality? 

It is logically impossible that such presumptions come from (repeated expo- 
sure to) the stimuli themselves. In other words, input to the mind cannot alone 
cause an instance of experience (e.g., a sighting in nature or in a picture book), or 
any finite number of fragmentary instances, to be generalized into a category that 
subsumes a rich and complex set of indefinitely many instances and stimuli. This 
projective capacity for category formation can only come from the mind, never 
from the world alone. The empirical question, then, is whether or not this projec- 
tive capacity is simply domain-general, or also domain-specific. For any given 
category domain — say, living kinds as opposed to artifacts or substances — the 
process would be domain-general if, and only if, one could generate the catego- 
ries of any number of domains from the stimuli alone together with the very same 
cognitive mechanisms for associating and generalizing those stimuli. As we have 
seen, current domain-general similarity models of category formation and cat- 
egory-based reasoning fail to account for the taxonomic privilege of the 
generic-species level across cultures. 



CONCLUSION 

Our findings suggest that fundamental categorization and reasoning pr 
in folkbiology are rooted in domain-specific conceptual presumptions and 
clusively in domain-general, similarity-based (e.g., perceptual) heuristics. 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 39 



in subsistence versus industrialized cultures may differ on the level at which or- 
ganisms are most easily identified, but still believe the same absolute level of reality 



nam 



cause they presume the biological world to be partitioned at mat rank into 
non-overlapping kinds, each with its own unique causal essence, or inherent un- 
derlying nature, the visible products of which may or may not be readily 



perceived. 



11 People anticipate that the biological information 

maximal whether or not there is also visible indication of maximal 
perceptual attributes. This does not mean that more general percep- 
no infprpntial valnp when aoolied to the folkbiological domain. On 



the contrary, our evidence points to a significant role for such cues in targeting 
basic-level life forms as secondary foci for inferential understanding in a cultural 
environment where biological awareness is poor, as among many North Ameri- 
cans. Possibly there is an evolutionary design to a cognitive division of labor 



domain 



mechanisms 



invariably steering us to tnose aoiaing a 

rancallv rpnirrpnt and esneciallv relevant 



human life and 



NOTES 



Research was funded by NSF (SBR 93-19798), with additional student support from the 
University of Michigan Culture and Cognition Program. We thank Edward Smith for his 
help on the experimental design. 

Generalizations across taxa of the same rank thus differ in logical type from generaliza- 



Termite 



common 



common rank — in this 



hierarchy, as some suggest (Rosch 1975; Premack 1995; Carey 1996). Hierarchy, that is, a 
structure of inclusive classes, is common to many cognitive domains, including the do- 
main of artifacts. For example, chair often falls under furniture but not vehicle and car 
falls under vehicle but not furniture. There is, however, no ranked system of artifacts: no 
:_r ..• i i-i : _ j.._ t :.„ c „~v cn.nc hr»th rhair and car. or furniture and vehicle, 



family. 



botanists and ethnobotanists tend to see privileged groups as akin to scientific genera 
(Bartlett 1940; Berlin, 1972; Greene 1983). Plant genera in particular are often groups most 
easily recognized without technical aids (Linnaeus 1751). Zoologists and ethnozoologists 



Bulmer 



itriiu iu view mem iiiuie n^t: sticmuic j^*-^^ v-*— -j - 

where reproductive and geographical isolation are more readily identified by behavior 



(Mayr 1969). 



Maya and people from rural Michigan and 



urban Chicaeo area, we found that the majority of mammal and 



and 



Medin, and Smith in press; Atran in press; Medin, Lynch 



Atran 



40 



ATRAN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



5 The actual magnitude of these changes in inductive strength with specificity of premise 
and conclusion categories depends on how much similarity changes with specificity. Un- 
less there is some independent measure of similarity, similarity relations become param- 
eters to be estimated from the data. Thus, the Osherson et a\. induction model could ac- 
count for a finding of a large drop in inductive strength as the conclusion category moves 
above the generic-species level or the breakpoint being above the life-form level, depend- 
ing on which shift led to the larger drop in within-category similarity; however, it cannot 
simultaneously account for both findings. 

6 Although the subject sample is small, previous experiments have shown that findings for 
any 12 Itzaj are sufficient to represent a statistically reliable "cultural consensus" (Lopez et 
al. in press; Atran in press; cf. Romnev, Weller, and Batchelder 1986). 



'Tor vine, we found only two generic species with both folkspecific and varietal distinc- 



tions. 



SThe grass life form, su'uk, was introduced to reflect the full range of plant life forms. 

9 A reviewer pointed out that Northern Meadow Lark is actually a Meadowlark, which is 
not a lark. It is doubtful, however, that the students knew this since, in a separate experi- 
ment, they were only able to identify most exemplars of local bird species as simply "bird." 

10 A reviewer suggested that the fish life form, which contains fewer subordinate taxa than 
other life forms, is more like a generic species than other life forms, such as the bird or tree 
life forms. Yet, Itzaj believe that certain subordinate fish taxa, such as nate' (Petenia splendida) 
and aj-b'ox (chichilids), have distinctive heart /essences {puksik'al), whereas others, like 
aj-k'dn Vox (yellow chichilid) and aj-ya'ax b'ox (blue/ green chichilid), share a common 
puksik'al Moreover, it is clear from justifications Itzaj give for their inferences that water 
facilitates contagion among fish. A follow-up inference study using different properties 
may settle the matter. 



such 



inherent 



may be a fruit or vegetable depending upon how it is served; a given object may be a bar 
stool or a waste bin depending on the social context or perceptual orientation of its user; 
and so on. 



LITERATURE CITED 



ANDERSON, J. 1990. The Adaptive 

Character of Thought. Erlbaum, 

Hillsdale, New Jersey. 
ATRAN, S. 1985. The nature of folkbotanical 

life forms. American Anthropologist 

87:298-315. 

1987a. Origin of the species and 



genus concepts: An anthropological 
perspective. Journal of the History of 
Biology 20:195-279. 

1987b. Constraints on the 



ordinary semantics of living kinds. 
Mind and Language 2:27-63. 



. 1990. Cognitive Foundations of 

Natural History. Cambridge University 

Press, Cambridge. 

. 1993. Itza Maya tropical agro- 



forestry. Current Anthropology 34:633 

700. 

1995a. Causal constraints on 

categories and categorical constraints on 
biological reasoning across cultures. In 
Causal Cognition, S. Sperber, D. 
Premack, and A. Premack (editors). 
Clarendon, Oxford. 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



41 



1995b. Classifying nature across BROWN, C, J 



cultures. In Invitation to Cognitive 
Science, vol. 3: Thinking, D. Osherson 
and E. Smith (editors). MIT Press, 



Cambridge Massachusetts 



in 



press 



Itzaj 



Maya 



folkbiological taxonomy. In D. Medin 
and S. Atran (editors). Folk biology. MIT 
Press, Cambridge Massachusetts 

ATRAN, S., D. MEDIN, E. LYNCH, N. 
ROSS, V. VAPNARSKY, and E. UCAN 
EK'. In press. Knowledge and action: 
Cultural models of nature and resource 
management in Mesoamerica. In 
Psychological Perspectives to 
Environment and Ethics in 
Management, M. Bazerman, D. Messick, 
A. Tinbrunsel, and K. Wayde-Benzoni 
(editors). Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. 

BARTLETT, H. 1940. History of the generic 
concept in botany. Bulletin of the Torrey 
Botanical Club 47:319-362. 

BERLIN, B. 1972. Speculations on the 
growth of ethnobotanical nomenclature. 
Language and Society 1:63-98. 

1978. Ethnobiological 



classification. In E. Rosch and B. Lloyd 
(editors). Cognition and Categorization. 
Erlbaum, Hillsdale, New Jersey. 



1992. 



Ethnobiological 
Classification. Princeton University 
Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 

In press. One Maya Indian's 



view of the plant world. In Folk biology, 
D. Medin and S. Atran (editors). MIT 
Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

BERLIN, B., D. BREEDLOVE, and P. 
RAVEN. 1973. General principles of 
classification and nomenclature in folk 
biology. American Anthropologist 
74:214-242. 

1974. Principles of Tzeltal Plant 

Classification. Academic Press, New 

York. 
BOSTER, J. 1991. The information economy 
model applied to biological similarity 
judgment. In Perspectives on Socially 
Shared Cognition, L. Resnick, J. Levine, 
and S. Teasley (editors). American 
Psychological Association, Washington, 

D.C. 
BROWN, C. 1984. Language and Living 
Things: Uniformities in Folk 
Classification and Naming. Rutgers 
University Press, New Brunswick, New 
Jersey. 



^ JANG, and P. VOLKMAN. 
1976. Some general principles of 
biological and non-biological 
classification. American Ethnologist 

3:73-85. 
BULMER, R. 1970. Which came first, the 

chicken or the egg-head? In Echanges 

et Communications: Melanges Offerts a 

Claude Levi-Strauss, J. Pouillon and P. 

Maranda (editors). Mouton, The Hague. 
1974. Folk biology in the New 

Guinea Highlands. Social Science 

Information 13:9-28. 
CAIN, A. 1956. The genus in evolutionary 

taxonomy. Systematic Zoology 5:97-109. 
CAREY, S. 1985. Conceptual Change in 

Childhood. MIT Press, Cambridge, 

Massachusetts. 



1996. Cognitive domains as 



of Thou 



D. Olson and N. Torrance (editors). 

Cambridge University Press, New York. 

CESALPINO, A. 1583. De Plantis Libri XVI. 



Marescot, Florence. 



ATRAN 



press. Does rank have its privilege? 
Inductive inferences 



within 



folkbiological taxonomies. Cognition. 
D'ANDRADE, R. 1995. The Development 

of Cognitive Anthropology. Cambridge 

University Press, New York. 
DARWIN, C. 1859. On the Origins of 

Species by Natural Selection. Murray, 



London. 
DIAMOND, 



J. 



1966. Zoological 



classification of a primitive people. 

Science 151:1102-1104. 
DIVER, C. 1940. The problem of closely 

related species living in the same area. 

In The New Systematics, J. Huxley 

(editor). Clarendon, Oxford. 
DONNELLAN, K. 1971. Necessity and 

criteria. In Readings in the Philosophy 

of Language, J. Rosenberg and C. Travis 

(editors). Prentice-Hall, Englewood- 

Cliffs, New Jersey. 
DOUGHERTY, J. 1978. Salience and 

Relativity in Classification. American 

Ethnologist 5:66-80. 
1979. Learning names for plants 

and plants for names. Anthropological 

Linguistics 21:298-315. 
ELLEN, R. 1993. The Cultural Relations of 

Classification. Cambridge University 

Press, Cambridge. 



42 



ATRAN, ESTIN, COLEY and MEDIN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



GELMAN, S. and J. COLEY. 1991. Language 
and categorization: The acquisition of 
natural kind terms. Perspectives on 
Language and Thought, In S. Gelman 
and J. Byrnes (editors). Cambridge 
University Press, New York. 

GELMAN, S., J. COLEY, and G. 
GOTTFRIED. 1994. Essentialist beliefs 
in children: The acquisition of concepts 
and theories. In Mapping the Mind: 
Domain Specificity in Cognition and 
Culture, L. Hirschfeld and S. Gelman 

(editors). Cambridge University Press, 
New York. 

GELMAN, S. and H. WELLMAN. 1991. 



1995. The growth of causal 

understandings of natural kinds. In 
Causal Cognition, S. Sperber, D. 
Premack, and A. Premack (editors). 
Clarendon, Oxford. 



M., E. WISNIEWSKI 



MEDIN 



and natural categories. In Percepts, 
Concepts and Categories, B. Burns 
(editor). Elsevier, New York. 

LINNAEUS, C. 1751. Philosophia Botanica. 
G. Kiesewetter, Stockholm. 

LOPEZ, A., S. ATRAN, J. COLEY, D. 
MEDIN, and E. SMITH. In press. The 
tree of life: Universals of folkbiological 



Insides 



and 



essences: 



Early 



understanding of the non-obvious. 
Cognition 38:214-244. 

GREENE, E. 1983. Landmarks in Botany, 2 
vol. Stanford University Press, Stanford, 
California. 

HATANO, G. and K. INAGAKI. 1994. 



Psychology. 



Cogniti 



MANDLER, J., P. BAUER, and L. 
McDONOUGH. 1991. Separating the 
sheep from the goats: Differentiating 
global categories. Cognitive Psychology 
23:263-298. 



Young children's naive theory of MANDLER, J. and L. McDONOUGH 



biology. Cognition 50:171-188 

HAYS, T. 1983. Ndumba folk biology. 
American Anthropologist 85:592-611. 

HEIT, E. and J. RUBENSTEIN. 1994. 
Similarity and property effects in 
inductive reasoning. Journal of 
Experimental Psychology: Learning, 
Memory and Cognition 20:411-422. 

HICKLING, A. and S. GELMAN. 1995. 
How does your garden grow? Evidence 
of an early conception of plants as 
biological kinds. Child Development 
66:856-876. 

HUNN, E. 1976. Toward a perceptual model 
of folk biological classification. 
American Ethnologist 3:508-524. 

1977. Tzeltal Folk Zoology. 



Drinking and driving don't mix: 
Inductive generalization in infancy. 
Cognition 59:307-335. 



MAYR 



Zoology. McGraw-Hill, New York. 



MEDIN 



structure. American Psychologist 



Academic Press, New York 

. 1982. The utilitarian factor in folk 



44:1469-1481. 
MEDIN, D., E. LYNCH, J. COLEY, and S. 
ATRAN. In press. Categorization and 
reasoning among tree experts: Do all 
roads lead to Rome? Cognitive 

Psychology. 
MEDIN, D. and A. ORTONY. 1989. 
Psychological essentialism. In Similarity 
and Analogical Reasoning, S. Vosniadou 
and A. Ortony (editors). Cambridge 



University Press, New York. 



WILKIE 



biological classification. American 
Anthropologist 84:830-847. 

INAGAKI, K. and G. HATANO. In press. 
Young children's recognition of 
commonalities between plants and 
animals. Child Development. 

KEIL, F. 1979. Semantic and Conceptual 
Development: An Ontological 



and 



Perspective. Harvard University Press, RIPS 



based induction. Psychological Review 

97:85-200. 
PREMACK, D. 1995 Forward to Part IV: 
Causal understanding in naive biology. 
In Causal Cognition, S. Sperber, D. 
Premack, and A. Premack (editors). 
Clarendon, Oxford. 



Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

1989. Concepts, Kinds and 



Cognitive Development. MIT Press, 
Cambridge, Massachusetts. 



natural categories. Journal of Verbal 
Learning and Verbal Behavior 14:665- 
681. 
ROMNEY, A. K., S. WELLER, and W. 
BATCHELDER. 1986. Culture as 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



43 



consensus: A theory of culture and 
informant accuracy. American 
Anthropologist 88:313-338. 
ROSCH, E. 1973. On the internal structure 



SPRINGER, K. and F. KEIL. 1989. On the 
development of biologically specific 
beliefs: The case of inheritance. Child 
Development 60:637-648. 



of perceptual and semantic categories. SMITH, E. and D. MEDIN. 1981. Categories 



In Cognitive Development and the 
Acquisition of Language, T. Moore 
(editor). Academic Press, New York. 
1975. Universals and cultural 



and Concepts. Harvard University 
Press, Cambridge Massachusetts. 

P. 1994. Berlin's 



STEVENS, 

"Ethnobiological Classification. 

Systematic Biology 43:293-295. 



n 



specifics in categorization. In Cross- 
cultural Perspectives on Learning, R. STROSS, B. 1973. Acquisition of botanical 
Brislin, S. Bochner, and W. Lonner 
(editors). Halstead, New York. 



terminology by Tzeltal children. In 
Meaning in Mayan Languages, M. 
Edmonson (editor). Mouton, The 

Hague. 
Categorization, E. Rosch and B. Lloyd TANAKA, J. and M. TAYLOR. 1991. Object 



1978. 



Principles 



of 



categorization. In Cognition and 



(editors). Erlbaum, Hillsdale, New 

Jersey. 
ROSCH, E. and C. MERVIS. 1975. Family 

resemblances: Studies in the internal 

structure of natural categories. 

Cognitive Psychology 8:382-439. 
ROSCH, E., C. MERVIS, W. GREY, D. 



categories and expertise: Is the basic 

level in the eye of the beholder? 

Cognitive Psychology 23:457-482. 
TOURNEFORT, J. 1694. Elemens de 

Botanique. Imprimerie Royale, Paris. 
WALLACE, A. 1889. Darwinism. 

Macmillan, London. 



JOHNSON, and P. BOYES-BRAEM. WAXMAN,S. 1991. Convergences between 



1976. Basic objects in natural categories. 

Cognitive Psychology 8:382-439. 
SIMMONS, D. and F. KEIL. 1995. An 

abstract to concrete shift in the 

development of biological thought: The 

insides story Cognition 56:129-163. 
SIMPSON, G. 1961. Principles of Animal 

Taxonomy. Columbia University Press, 

New York. 



semantic and conceptual organization 
in preschool years. In Perspectives on 
Language and Thought, S. Gelman and 
J. Byrnes (editors). Cambridge 
University Press, Cambridge. 
ZUBIN, D. and K. M. KOPCKE. 1986. 
Gender and folk taxonomy. In Noun 
Classes and Categorization, C. Craig 
(editor). John Benjamins, Amsterdam. 






44 



Vol. 17, No.l 



Journal of Ethnobiology 17(l):45-67 



Summer 1997 



INTEGRATING INNOVATION: THE TRADITIONAL NAHUA 
COFFEE-ORCHARD (SIERRA NORTE DE PUEBLA, MEXICO) 1 



PIERRE BEAUCAGE 
Departement d 'anthropologic 
Universite de Montreal, 
Montreal Qc. H3C 3J7 CANAL 



ABSTRACT 



TALLER DE TRADICION ORAL DEL CEPEC 

San Miguel Tzinacapan 
A.P.6, Cuetzalan, Puebla, MEXICO 

foreign 



plexes, such as sugarcane or coffee growing, which they integrated to their envi- 
ronmental knowledge and practices. Through a survey of the plants associated 
with the traditional coffee orchard among the Nahua of the Lower Sierra Norte 
de Puebla (Mexico), we shall try to demonstrate that far from being "disastrous 
monocultivation," it represents both an economic and an ecological response to 



The 



response depends on soil selection practices and on a form of caring for the coffee 
shrubs which the Nahua extended from their home gardens to their coffee or- 
chards. Our native informants identified 184 plants, 87% of them useful, which 
grow spontaneously in the coffee-orchards or are planted there on purpose. Un- 
fortunately, this native knowledge was not taken into account in the moderniza- 
tion schemes of the 70s and 80s, with very negative economic and environmental 
consequences. 

RESUMEN.— Los pueblos amerindios han adoptado desde hace tiempo complejos 
agricolas foraneos, como el cultivo de la caha de azucar y el cafe, que han integrado 
a sus conocimientos y a sus practicas ambientales. A partir de una encuesta sobre 
las plantas asociadas con el cafetal tradicional entre los nahuas de la Sierra Norte 
de Puebla (Mexico), trataremos de demostrar que este, lejos de constituir un 
"monocultivo desastroso," representa una respuesta economica y ecologica 
adecuada al incremento de la presion demografica en un ambiente tropical de 
montaha. El exito de esta respuesta depende de la seleccion de suelos, asi como 
de una forma particular de cuidado de las plantas que los nahuas extendieron de 
sus huertos caseros a sus cafetales. Nuestros informantes identificaron 184 plantas, 
87% de ellas especies utiles, que crecen espontaneamente en los cafetales o se 
siembran alii a proposito. Desgraciadamente, este rico conocimiento tradicional 
no se tomo en cuenta cuando se introdujeron a la region en los ahos 70 y 80 nuevos 
esquemas para modernizar la cafeticultura, esquemas que trajeron consecuencias 
economicas y ecologicas muy negativas a mediano plazo. 



46 



TRADICI6N ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



RESUME. — Les peuples amerindiens ont adopte depuis longtemps des complexes 
agricoles etrangers, comme la culture de la canne a sucre et du cafe, qu'ils ont 
integres a leurs connaissances et a leurs pratiques environnementales. A partir 
d'une enquete sur les plantes associees a la cafeiere traditionnelle chez les Nahuas 
de basse montagne, dans la Sierra Norte de Puebla, au Mexique, nous tenterons 
de demontrer que cette cafeiere constitue une reponse adequate, au plan ecologique 
et economique, a l'accroissement de la pression demographique dans ce milieu 
tropical de montagne. Le succes de cette reponse depend de la selection des sols, 
ainsi que d'une forme intensive de culture des plants que les Nahuas ont transposee 
a partir des jardins domestiques. Nos informateurs ont identifie 184 plantes, dont 



87% sont des plantes utiles, qui soit poussent spontanement, soit ont ete 
intentionnellement plantees dans les cafeieres. Malheureusement, on n'a pas tenu 
compte de ce savoir ni de ces pratiques lorsqu'on a impose, dans les annees 1970 
et 1980, des schemes de modernisation de la cafeiculture qui eurent de graves 
consequences economiques et ecologiques a moyen terme. 



INTRODUCTION 



fifty years, the dominant trend in Mexico's agricultural policy (as in 
Third World) has been to encourage productivity increase through 
Lzation and a technology package (e.g., SARH 1990). Yet, recent stud- 
>wn the high environmental cost of this tvoe of "modernization" in 



terms 



in tin 



and Concheiro 1995). In reaction to this, a conservationist perspective has been 
rising, which sees "Nature" as an equilibrium and human presence essentially as 
a disruptive factor which has to be either eliminated (the "Natural Parks" option) 
or at least submitted to strict controls (the "Biosphere Reserves" option). The lat- 



more 



since 



// 



indige 



lation. However, these uses are often being quite arbitrarily defined by the 
administrators, more inclined to follow the government lines that to respond to 
local views and needs (Nigh and Rodriguez 1995:181-200). However well-inten- 



conservationist schemes 



the people involved 



example, in Chiapas' Montes 



sphere Reserve, Indian peasants are still waiting for the "sustainable harvesting 
schemes" which were to be announced to them twenty years ago, when they were 
suddenly forbidden to cut trees in order to plant corn. In fact, detailed studies 
show that environmental deterioration and land conflicts, mostly due to clandes- 
tine logging and cattle-raising, increased significantly after the creation of the reserve 
(Fernandez, Tarrio, Villafuerte, and Garcia 1994). 

Our perspective will be that of ethnoecology, which Toledo (1992) defined as a 
meeting-place for the various scholars and practitioners interested in the dynamic 
relationships between humans and their environments, whether they be biolo- 
gists, agronomists, health or development specialists. The main interest of our 
research is not to salvage by-gone ways, however interesting that may be for 
science's sake, but to help find practical alternative methods of producing food, 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 47 



ironment 



// 



long-term pr< 
development 



(Taller de Tradition Oral and Beaucage 1988). 



First of all, regarding "resources/' it has been pointed out that they do not 



exist per se: to be considered a "resource, 



// 



mineral 



human 



As we shall argue later on, for a large landowner or a government development 
agency, a coffee plantation is a combination of basic inputs (land, water, plants, 
fertilizer, labor) all geared to maximize one single output: coffee. This is often con- 
sidered to be the normal form of production: cash-cropping and the peasant coffee 
orchard will be considered "unproductive" in relation to it (Nolasco Armas and 
Toledo Ocampo 1977:36ff.). This overlooks the fact that besides the main crop people 
also gather firewood, plant fruit trees such as oranges (Citrus sinensis [L.] Osbeck) 
and sapotes (Pouteria sapota [Jacq.] H.E. Moore & Stern), and hunt birds and small 
game in coffee orchards. Thus, a variety of important resources come from the 
same orchard. From the point of view of economic sustainability and bio-diver- 
sity, we shall argue that traditional indigenous farming is far more adequate. In 
spite of the very fragmentary state of present-day knowledge of non-Western sys- 
tems of resource management, it has been shown that many of them include 
techniques not only for preserving 



Western standards, through natural terracing, 
>s combinations (Garcia Oliva 1992; Medellin 



Morales 1992). 

At this crucial point, the scientist's interest may meet that of the natives for 
whom land and its resources are neither a simple reservoir of idle wealth to be put 
to use for profit, nor an untouchable whole which has to be preserved at all cost 
from human intervention. 2 Expropriated from most of their lands for centuries, 
American aboriginal people are now faced with population growth and progres- 
sive depletion of various traditional resources. At the same time, resource-hungry 
industry puts extra pressure on them to obtain minerals, hydro-electricity, or tim- 
ber, as in Canada, or to include them in agro-industrial development, as in Mexico. 
Many native organizations are now struggling for the right to develop according to 
their own priorities, and through the implementation of their own ecological and 

technological knowledge (Sarmiento 1991:94ff)- 

Our purpose here will be to describe how Indian farmers from the lower Si- 



Norte 



Mexico 



with their environment in a context of economic and 

farm survevs were carried on in various communities in 



1972 and then again in 1979-1982 (Beaucage 1973a, 1973b; Beaucage, Gobeil, 
Montejo, and Vitye 1982; Beaucage and Montejo 1984). In 1986 and 1987 an ethno- 
botanical and ethnozoological inquiry in a Nahua community from the Lower 
Sierra revealed a system of knowledge and use of plants and animals as intricate 
and diversified as that of the Huastec (Alcorn 1981) or the Highland Maya (Berlm, 
Breedlove, and Raven 1974; Hunn 1977). Two series of plant specimens were col- 
lected, mostly during the summer of 1986. One series of vouchers (they contain 
about 900 specimens each) is kept by the Taller de Tradicion Oral in San Miguel 
Tzinacapan, the other at the Universite de Montreal. Time constraints (the research 



48 



TRADICI6N ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



had to be done from June to August, that is, during the rainy season) prevented us 
from collecting most specimens in flowering or fruiting stage, a limitation we hope 
to correct soon through further field research. 

Our previous studies on indigenous farming and animal husbandry had over- 
looked most of their non-farming knowledge of the rich montane tropical 
environment of the Lower Sierra (see Taller de Tradicion Oral del CEPEC and 
Beaucage 1987, 1988, 1990, 1996). Regarding the plant world, our data show that, 



complex of precolumb 



Zea mays 



L., beans — Phaseolus spp.; squash — Cucurbita spp.), there is a strong persistence 



mushrooms 



tree pods, and seeds. The harvesting of forest products, whether 
medicine, fuel or raw materials, and the allocation of land betweer 



m 



sembles that of shifting cultivation (Arias Reves 1992) which 



low). 



ementation of the Liberal reform 



At the same time, the Indian farmer has long integrated a variety of cash- 
crops, sometimes of precolumbian origin, such as vanilla (Vanilla planifolia Andr.) 
(see Kelly and Palerm 1952) or avocado (Persea americana Mill.), but mostly of for- 
eign origin, such as sugarcane {Saccharum ojficinarum L.) (Pare 1979) or coffee (Coffea 
arabica L.) (Durand 1975; Hoffmann and Sallee 1993). The adoption of these crops 
was long considered due to outside forces (called "modernization" or "capitalist 
penetration/' according to the author's ideology) on a passive Indian population. 
The active role played by Indian producers in adopting, integrating, and modify- 
ing these "foreign elements" into their economy and way of life is not commonly 



amount 



garding what should be called "native" or " 
as Mexico, where the original inhabitants h< 



in 



claim that the term should be limited 



techniques or resources of precolumbian (or at most 
to demonstrate that: 



1) The generalized adoption of coffee-growing by Nahua and Totonac farm- 
ers, well into the 20th century, as an addition to corn-growing, was an ecological 
response to a double challenge: the transformation of communal titles into private 
smallholdings (desamortizacion) during the late 19th century, which prevented them 
from moving crop sites as they had done before (Ramirez, Jaimez, and Valderrama 
1992:16), and a rapid population increase (Beaucage 1995:354), which challenged 
the sustainability of the previous short-fallow milpa agriculture. Moreover, the same 
demographic growth made sugarcane (which had been previouslv added as a cash- 



sustainable 



environment 



interspersed 



emerges: on the gentler, more 



growing alone, or kept for firewood, timber 



poses. This pattern helped to preserve the soil fertility and moisture and the ov. 
sustainability of the agro-forestal system which progressivelv came to be mos 



em 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



49 



3) The native way of managing the coffee-orchard itself, far from being "disas- 
trous monocultivation," in fact recreated on the steep slopes a diversified 
environment analogous to the tree cover which was being replaced (with hun- 
dreds of associated vegetal and animal species). This was made possible because 
of a specific pattern of plant care, including intensive "hand-weeding" of the or- 
chards. 

4) These three basic features were threatened after World War Two, when higher 
international prices for coffee and the improvement of the road network made the 
substitution of milpa by coffee orchards increasingly advantageous from an eco- 
nomic point of view. But it appears that the real challenge came in the mid-seventies, 
when the State Coffee Board (Instituto Mexicano del Cafe) gradually imposed in 
the Lower Sierra a technology-credit-marketing package which involved new cof- 
fee varieties, strict monocultivation, and a change in working patterns, together 
with fertilizers and, lately, pesticides. 



THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE PEOPLE 



The community of San Mi 



Municipio of Cuetzalan, in the Eastern Sierra Madre. The 



ministratively known as the 
ecosystems (Pacheco Mungu 



FIGURE 1.— Ecological zones in the Sierra Norte de Puebla (Mexico) 




Costal Plain 



Lower Sierra 



600 



*r 



8 



1200 m 



o 

Q 



to 

- 



Xicotepec de 
\J\XsJ Juorez 

Huauchinango 



X % > x ^ 



-fO*- 



.\\\\\\\v 



wwww 



^Zacatlan 



|\\^[ Higher Sierra 
X//A Central Plateau 



fo^ 



*>' 



c* 



*0 



Paved Road 



Railroad 



Tzinacapan 



I* 



Jonotl' 



uetzaian 



\\\vC\)P 



x \.X X ^Zaca ooqxtlg 



Chignahuapon 



Tlatlauqui. 

Tetela'// // 

Zaragoza 



22Mm 

Tcziutlan 



Beaucage 1973a:119 



50 



TRADICION ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



1) The central highlands, with altitudes over 2000 m, occupy the south west- 
ern part. The climate is cold and dry with annual rainfall under 1000 mm. It is 
devoted to grain-growing and cattle-ranching, and its present, mostly mestizo 
population, lives in relatively large villages and towns. The main food crops are 
corn, barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and beans, while alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is 
grown on irrigated plots as cattle fodder. 

2) The Sierra Madre Oriental in its higher section (1500 to 2000 m) is cold and 
subhumid, with annual average rainfall around 1500 mm. The area was originally 
covered with a highland forest of oaks {Quercus spp.) and pines (Pinus spp.), with 
other species such as sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.). Only vestiges of this 
flora remain in deep canyons or mountain tops, since most of the land has been 
cleared for agriculture and pasture. It is densely populated; the farmers, mostly 
Nahua Indians (plus some Otomi in the Northwest) live dispersed among the hills. 
They grow corn, beans, and some vegetables for subsistence. Mixed orchards are 



complement: avocados (Persea americana L.), apples (Malus 



urns 



L.). They keep a few pigs and poultry, sell forest products (firewood, charcoal, and 
timber) at lively local markets and migrate to the lowlands to work as farm hands 
and woodcutters. 

3) The lower Sierra (between 500 and 1500 m) is warm and humid (rainfall 
averaging between 2000 and 4000 mm a year). It was originally a zone of montane 
tropical forest, with such typical elements as cedar (Cedrela odorata L.), mahogany 
(Szvietenia macrophylla King), and giant ferns (e.g., Cyathea mexicana Schlecht. & 
Cham.). Here too, the original vegetation is to be found only in the most inacces- 
sible parts. Population is extremely dense (275 per km 2 ), semi-dispersed, and mostly 
Indian: Nahua to the north and south, Totonac in the middle. Farmers grow corn 



(tw 



"allspice" (Pimenta dioica 



[L.J Merril), sapote, oranges, and some sugarcane (Saccharum off\ 

San Miguel Tzinacapan, the Nahua community we shall be dealing with 

cated in the southern part of this ecosystem. Approximately one-third of il 

inhabitants live in the main settlement (cabecera), at approximately 750 m 

sea level; the others are scattered 

north (Figure 3). 

4) Further north and east, the coastal plain (under 500 m) is hot and humid 
(1500 to 2000 mm of rainfall per year). It was a zone of tropical forest and savannahs, 
which has given way to large pastures, cornfields, and plantations (vanilla, ba- 

[Musa spp.], citrus fruits). Its sparse population is mostlv mestizo except to 



in small villages and hamlets, downhill 



the north, where Totonac Indians predominate 



A NAHUA VIEW OF THE ENVIRONMENT 

The Nahua from the Sierra have developed a very precise knowledge of the 
different components of their rugged environment, of its plant cover as well as 
agricultural potential, all of which is reflected in a rich topographic terminology. 
For the lower Sierra alone, we collected 31 terms referring to different geotopes 
and ecotopes (Figure 2). The various geotopes refer to a vertically-defined envi- 
ronment, its two main elements, the mountain and the river, being metaphorically 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



51 



assimilated to the human body. The mountain's 'head' (tepekuako) is the summit; 
its Tip' (tepeten), the summit edge; its 'waist' (tepexit), the crags, its 'thighs' 
(tepekespan), the mountain sides; and its 'anus' (tepetsintan), the foothills. Simi- 
larly, the stream (apart, atauit) has its source or 'head' (apankuako), its 'lips' or 
shores (ataujtenoj), and its 'anus' (atsintan), which is the lower course. Rolling 
hills are 'heads of the land' (talkuait). 



FIGURE 2. — Nahuat Ethnotopography (Lower Sierra Norte de Puebla) 



kuouijtik 

(forest 'inside trees') 



tepekuako 

(mountain top mountain head ) 




tepeten (summit edge 'mountain mouth') 



kajfentaj (coffee orchard) 



tepexit (crag 'mountain waist) 



\ *.-•"!.*• V. tekal (cave 'stone house') 

etaj (beanfield)v; *-;:•;;■ • 



tepekespan (mountain side 'mountain thigh 1 ) 



taluakpan (dry ground) 



xiujkaual, xiujtaj 

\Qugh grassesk 




tejtetaj (rocky part) 



taxitin (fallen rocks) 




tepetsintan 
(foothill 'mountain anus' 



ST xolalpan (in the village 1 ) 



\ \ totolijxipil 

-Jroad split 'turkey's footprint) 



a pan (spring) 



kaltsintaj (house site "house anusl 



talpan 



chiauit (swamp) 



*" ojpan, ojtenoj 
(road side 'road moi 



\ 



S 



(crossroads 




talkuait (hill 'head of ground' 



tajtakuakespan 
(hillside "half-way the hills thigh') 




(cornfi 



ostok 



takes (hillside) 
ixtauat (pasture wide view 

ft 




Cbelo 



tan \ atal (wet ground) 

(down the creek) m 

tatekoch 

"' BWUth ' ) ^ ataoit (river) 



(plain 'flax land') 



araanis (lake flat water"). 



Plants, either wild or grown, bear a specific relation to a given niche 



home'). For exam 



I), that is on the lower and more gentle hill-sides, while 



m 



on (burnt) shrub (tapachiuis). Bananas thrive on the richer alluvial soil ot the river 
shores (ataujtenoj). The village itself is usually built on a ridge (tatempa), half- 
way up the hillside, where permanent springs (apan) are to be found, with hamlets 
and individual farms scattered through the intensively cultivated countryside. 
Hundreds of toponyms are attached to the village lands, marking every topographic 
particularity: hill, ravine, rock, or spring, and relating it either to an animal or 
plant, or to some physical or supernatural trait (Taller de Tradicion Oral and 

Beaucage 1996). 



52 BEAUCAGE and TALLER de TRADICION ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



ETHNICITY AND CLASS IN THE SIERRA 



ethnic groups are found in the Sierra: the non-Indians or mesti 



dominant 



from the highlands to the lower mountain slopes; the Totonac, concentrated in 



Otomi 



The Indian 



mated at over 320,000, including about 210,000 Nahua, 100,000 Totonac and 9,50( 
Otomi 4 . As elsewhere in Mexico, Indian population is steadily increasing, in spit< 
of emigration and acculturation, which affects particularly the highland Nahua. 
Mestizos are a minority in most of the lower Sierra and usually dwell in th< 
small township centers (cabeceras tnunicipales) where they live off commerce anc 
professional services; the wealthier of them control business and local administra 

pastureland in the surrounding countryside. Thes< 



holdings, although not large by Mexican 



most of them Indians 



exam 



5 



farmers 



two hectares. At the other end of the spectrum 



total of 1,540 ha (Direccion General de Estadistica 1975:63, 75). On the other hand, 



Indian farmers in a given community 
ers and farm hands. (For a detailed arc 



economic structures 



5b; Chamoux 1981; Durand 1975; Pare 1973). 

There is little, if any, physical difference between the Indians and most mesti- 
Moreover, nowadays young Indian men have replaced the traditional white 
ones and shirts with factory-made clothes. In the lower Sierra, however, the 
: majority of Indian women still wear the distinctive white skirt and embroi- 
?d blouse, wide red belt, and huipil. Both mestizos and Indians now live in 



much in common 



made 



fruit trees and coffee groves. The basic food is everywhere the corn-cake or 
tortilla, complemented with beans, hot peppers (Capsicum spp.), and a variety of 

and cultivated greens (known as quelites in Mexico, kilit in Nahuat; see Bye 



1981). 



Yet, a closer look reveals that ethnic differentiation is one of the basic dimen 
sions of social life in the Sierra. On Sunday, the market day, in a large township 
center such as Cuetzalan, the streets are filled with Indian people from the sur 
rounding countryside. They speak Nahuat (see note 3) among themselves, bu 
most will address merchants in Spanish. In fact, only the streets, the market place 
and the co-op 6 house are theirs; they make short stops in the shops to purchase 
some goods or have a drink; then most leave town Inner h^fnrP Hark, to return tc 



hamlets. Indians 



very 



Ethnic identity, in the lower Sierra, does not belong to the symbolic level oi 
rachon alone. It entails for its members sharing a way of life, including a par 
lar way of making a living and a particular relationship to the environment 
lough both the economy and the ecology have undereone important changes 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 53 



during the last hundred years, the Indian way (tnaseualkopan) is still quite differ- 
entiated from the non-Indian way (koyokopan), and consciously so. In order to 
understand the present-day pattern of resource management, it is necessary to 
have a look at the historical process of interaction and conflict between the two 
groups, in this particular environment. 



HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: 
THE FORMATION OF A CULTURAL ECOSYSTEM 



time 



Lower Sierra did not constitute an autonomous society. Globally designated by 
the Aztecs as Totonacapan ("Totonac country"), it had been conquered some cen- 
turies before by Nahuat-speaking Chichimecs who divided it into various domains 
(De Carrion 1965:20). The stretch of land between the Tozan and the Apulco riv- 



Tzinacap 



inhabited, formin 



north of the Tozan river, and the Nahua who settled south of the Apulco. A few 
generations before the arrival of the Spaniards, the whole region was incorpo- 



The Spanish 



Empire (Garcia Martinez 1987:47) 



today, the subsistence of the Nahua and Totonac was based on the cultivation of 
corn and other food-crops: peppers, beans, squash, and greens (Gonzalez 1905:129- 
130). Poultry-breeding, fishing, and hunting were additional sources of food, and 
it is reported that "they cure themselves with many herbs which grow in the moun- 
tains and crags" (ibid.). Apart from 



from the high 



and skins: those from 



from 



name 



"ruptzalan"). Those 



to send salted fish, honey, and peppers (Paso y Troncoso 1980:51ff; Beaucage 



The onlv mention 



they 



from 



ft 



that 



ironment 



and collecting. 



farming, the rivers for fishing, and the forest for hunting 



After the Spanish conquest, the Indians were subjected to the harsh regime of 
the encomienda. Natives were "bestowed" on a conquistador who could use their 
labor at will, and who was supposed to convert them to Catholicism (Gibson 
1964:58-97). This regime, which allowed all kind of abuses, was of short duration 
in the Sierra. Because no mines were found, greedy encomenderos soon found bet- 



communities were 



semi-autonomous status (republicas de indios) under the tutela 



Martinez 



In spite of sparse contacts with foreigners, epidemics took a heavy toll in the 
Sierra as elsewhere in the New World. In the 1581 survey, all communities claim 
that their population had dwindled due to "fever" and "pestilence." It seems that 



54 



TRADICI6N ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



the decline was greatest in the lower Sierra and the lowlands: in both areas some 
communities disappeared altogether, including "Quetzalcoatl," which was located 



In 



From 



ginning of the 17th century on, however, one can observe a stabilization and steady 
if small population increase among the natives. Cuetzalan already was a parish 
with a resident priest, and its people cultivated corn, peppers, and cotton; fished 
and raised chickens (Gallus gallus) and turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) (Mota y Escobar 
1940:225). In 1725, we know that there were various settlements within the parish 
(AGN Indios 50:f 344r); in 1788, it had 740 tribute-payers, which indicates ap- 
proximately 3,700 inhabitants (AHML 26/3/1788). One century later, there are 



allows a total population estimate 



(AHMC 



This 



downhill to warmer 



\ originally covered most of the townsl 
moved from the three main settlements in 



mg 



vantage ot a permanent spring, since the springs to the north dry up in April-May. 
The people went to farm in the lower hills (between 500 and 700 m) where corn 



harvested 



number of crops. A 1904 document 



them native, including grains, legumes, fruits, and greens (Ramirez, Jaimez, and 
Valderrama 1992:29-30). The "cold" area to the south of Tzinacapan, over 1000 m, 
supported only one crop of corn per year, and was never settled nor steadily farmed 
by the Indians. It was kept as a forest and used for firewood, timber, and game 
supply. The forested areas also provided large Beilschmiedia (Lauraceae) leaves for 
thatch, fruits and berries to collect, as well as certain staples which were eaten 
during periods of food shortage, such as the root of the pesmakuouit, or tree fern. 
This generalized exploitation of resources was made possible through com- 
munal land tenure. Colonial authorities had acknowledged the existence of 
communal land titles (comun de naturales), and made them the basis of the local 
Indian community. Until the end of the 18th century, no one came to the Sierra to 
challenge it. Any Indian family could hunt, pick wild products, cut timber, and 

farm wherever seemed fit and an empty plot was available. An 1877 document 
states: 

Prior to the Ley de desatnortizacion [1856 law which suppressed Church and Indian 
land titles], the Indian class, the most numerous, would till in small scale, sowing 
every year a plot without paying any rent, so as to satisfy their basic needs and, 
once the harvest was picked, would move to another spot where they would make 
another small clearing, forgetting [sic] the one they had made before (AHMC 12/ 
9/1877, quoted by Ramirez, ]aimez, and Valderrama 1992:16). 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



55 



FIGURE 3. — Internal Migrations and Land Occupation: 

Municipio de Cuetzalan (1870-1970) 




56 BEAUCAGE and TALLER de TRADICION ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



This farming system was criticized as "primitive" by the Cuetzalteco bour- 
geoisie, who wanted to suppress the communal land tenure that went with it; in 
the same way many modern agronomists consider permanent cultivation the nor- 
mal form of farming and hold "slash-and burn agriculture" responsible for erosion 
and deforestation. However, anthropologists have argued for years that, in a tropi- 
cal mountain rain-forest (such as the Philippines or the lower Sierra) it may be the 
optimal farming technique, as lone 



The 



// 



small plots," together with long fallow peri- 
secondary growth, inhibits soil exhaustion and erosion. Nearly 
ifall, drizzle, and fog make for a thick ground vegetation (mostly 
Melampodium divaricatum [Rich.] DC) in cornfields at harvest time, 
n, in mid-19th-centurv was 54.3 inhabitants per km 2 , so there was 



little pressure on the land. 



because they rejected 



communal 



// 



hunerv mestizos 



them 



turning 



in Dieeuillo (Palaeosti) led an armed 



uprising which succeeded in stopping the expropriation (Thorn 



lm 



massive 



elsewhere in Mexico durin 



reign of Porfirio Diaz (1876-1910). However, mestizos 



the "unused" land 
coffee orchards. 



development of cash-croppin 

^arranp had 1 on p- been known, 



in 



seems 



increasing population was pushed further down 



There they found fertile lands and abundant 



material for the rum 



became scarce and as the road 



network expanded, allowing cheaper sugar to come in from 



mystery 



World War Two prices, the output of an hectare of coffee orch 
t four times that of a cornfield (Beaucage and Montejo 1984:14,18). With 
oads, the region could also import increasing amounts of corn from 
iboring plateau and export its coffee overseas more easily. 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 57 



PLANT ASSOCIATIONS IN THE COFFEE ORCHARD (KAJFENTAJ) 

The ethnobotanical inquiry was carried out among 52 members of the com- 
munity of San Miguel Tzinacapan, 35 men and 17 women: farmers, craftsmen, 
and healers. Specimens were collected with informants throughout the country- 
side, and interviews were conducted in Nahuat in the village. 7 We recorded 636 
generic taxa, of which the Nahua explicitly associated 184 with coffee, when asked, 
"Where does it grow more?" dKanin semi mochiua?) and "What grows with it?" 
(iToni seki mochiua kampa mochiua nejin?). The most frequently mentioned plant 
associate is the native Inga tree (chalauij), which gives coffee the necessary shade. 
Among the 184 coffee-associated plants, 128 (69%) are considered by the Nahua to 
be 'wild' or 'not planted' (mochiua saj: 'it grows by itself); 33 (18%) are usually 
planted (se kitoka: 'one plants it' or no se kitoka: 'one can also plant it') while the 
remaining 21 (13%) are not planted but do receive some special care (se kikaua, 
mochipaujtani: 'one spares it', 'one weeds around it'). Thus, most associated plants, 
in a microenvironment supposedly altered by human beings, grow from seeds 
that have been brought by the wind, water, or unplanned human or animal inter- 
vention. Those which are planted are mostly post-conquest fruit trees: orange 
(Citrus sinensis L.), lemon (Citrus limetta Risso.), mango (Mangifera indica L.), while 
those which are either planted or protected are precolumbian plants grown for 
food: e.g., pepper-bush (chiltekpin, Capsicum annuum L.); ornament (e.g., 
chamakijisuat, Heliconia bihai L.f.); or fencing (e.g., chakaykuouit > Bursera simaruba 

L. [Sarg.]). 

With reference to the native classification, 81 (44%) of the associated plants are 
'trees' (kuouit), 34 (18%) are 'herbs' (xiuit), 27 (15%) are 'vines' (kuamekat), and 
the rest are distributed among the other 12 Nahuat "life forms" (Taller de Tradicion 
Oral and Beaucagel987:27ff .). The environment of the Sierra and the microecology 
of the orchard explain why such a large proportion of the associated plant are 
trees: a plant that needs much sunlight will not thrive under the double screen of 
the coffee trees and the Inga; shade-intolerant plants, e.g., mandarin orange 
(xokoklavoxochit, Citrus reticulata L.), are planted on the edge or 'lip' of the or- 
chard (kajfentajtenoj). 

Regarding the uses of these plants, 57 (31%) are food plants (se kikua, 'one 
eats it'), 48 (26%) are used as remedies (pajti), at least 36 (19%) are used specifi- 
cally as firewood (tikuouit), 18 (10%) as timber (kalkuouit), and 12 different flowers 
and palms as ornaments for domestic or church altars (6%). The rest either have 
specialized uses such as basketmaking, fences, tying, etc. (48, or 26%), or are de- 
fined as 'useless' (amo kualtia para teyi) (25, or 13%). This distribution pattern is 
similar to that of the 636 generic taxa identified in our general inquiry 8 (Taller de 
Tradicion Oral and Beaucage 1987:23-24). When asked about what they get out of 
a coffee orchard (apart from coffee itself), people spontaneously mention 'fire- 
wood', of which an average family needs about 55 kg (three forty-pound loads) a 
week. Apart from fruits, which are seasonal, during most of the year, the coffee 
orchard will yield mushrooms (nanakat), wild edible herbs such as metstsonkilit 
(Xanthosoma nigrum [Veil.] Stellf .), herbal remedies such as akokojxiuit (Piper sanc- 
tum Schlecht), and various vines used for basketmaking (Table 1). 



58 BEAUCAGE and TALLER de TRADICI6N ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



Within such diversity, there are basic associations. The most fundamental is 
that between the coffee plant (kajfenkuouit, Coffea arabica L.) and its 'shadow' 
(yekauil), most usually provided by the genus Inga (chalauij): I. leptoloba Schlecht 
and I. latibracteata Harms, (kuamekachalauij); I. spuria Humb. & Bonpl. ex-Willd. 
(tiltikchalauij); I. xalapensis (atenchalauij); I. jinicuil (xonekuilkuouit). In effect, 
the C. arabica brought to the area in the 1860s (today called cafe criollo, "native 
coffee") grows best under shade, which enables it to stand the short dry season 
(April-May) and protects its flowers and young fruit from the violent winds and 
showers of the late winter and summer. Inga has been known to the natives of the 
area for a long time, and is used for living fences, firewood, and even food: the 
inner part of its pod is a delicacv. It would appear that the first mestizo planters 



from cuttings planted in 



more 



spread a large, umbrella of foliage 20 m above the ground. Moreover, its leaves 
make an excellent manure. It suffers no damage from pruning, which is necessary 
when the foliage becomes too thick. 

Nahua and Totonac Indians also used Inga for shade when they started grow- 
ing coffee. But there stops the parallel with the mestizos. For they had different 
views and techniques which oriented their utilization of the plant. First, mestizos 
plant their coffee trees in rows, on gentle slopes, at a distance of about three meters, 
for a total density of 1000 coffee plants per hectare, covered by up to 100 Inga trees. 
The yearly pruning is done after the end of the harvest (January) and the ground 
cleared by machete during the dry season (April-May). Apart from increasing pro- 
duction, pruning keeps the coffee shrubs from growing too high, which would 
make harvesting more time-consuming. 9 Before the introduction of new varieties 
in the 1970s, the same bushes were grown until their production declined mark- 
edly, that is, after 20 years. New saplings would then be matched with the old 
plants, the older being cut as the younger started producing. 

Native coffee farming differs in five important points: 1) Traditionally, they 
keep their best land for corn and planted coffee shrubs on the rockier, steeper hills, 
as well as between houses on the village site (xolalpan). While successful mestizo 
farmers prefer to specialize in coffee and buy their corn, Indian farmers insist on 
the necessity of producing at least a part of their own subsistence needs: cash- 
cropping should be reserved for market eoods. As one informant stated it: 



corn 



it so that he does not need to buy any (Beaucage 1987:35). 

2) They plant coffee saplings in 'beds' (koyok), four at a time, more irregularly 
and at a greater distance (four-five meters apart) than the mestizos. Apart from 
the limitations of a more rugged terrain, this technique makes for an easier pick- 



ing, since 



in. Pickers gently pull the branches down as they work so as to make 
rk easier. 3) They do not prune the coffee nor Inga trees systematically, 
the overgrowth all year round, whenever they need firewood. 



letting 



round 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 59 



4) The Indians also used to weed the orchards by hand: 

We always weed by hand. If we see some herb useful for curing or some (useful) 
sapling, we let it grow; if it is useless, we pull it out. (Nahua female farmer) 

5) Finally, among the natives, the life-cycle of coffee plantations is directly 
linked with the family cycle. Indian farmers often plant a new coffee-orchard (or 
renew an old one) as they settle as young family heads. In the extended patrilineal 
family, sons (and sometimes daughters) are allocated parts of the father's lands so 
as to become progressively independent. This original plantation will often be 
kept in production up to 30 years or even more, for natives are loath to cut down 
a plant which is still bearing fruit (takistok ok). Since a man is not expected to 
engage in heavy farming labor inputs after fifty, it will be his sons, usually, who 
will start the coffee cycle again. 10 

As a result, Indian coffee orchards, in contrast to mestizo plantations, are in- 
terspersed with citrus trees, mangoes, sapotes, yucca (Yucca spp.), and allspice, 
together with the odd oak, cedar, mahogany, and any other tree which had been 
preserved while clearing or whose seed had been dropped by a bird or squirrel. 
These trees also provide shade for the coffee, and are harvested and pruned when 
their foliage becomes cumbersome. Around the little hut (xajkal) that is built to 
shelter the family during the long harvesting season (October to January), the 
housewife soon adds some peppers, squash, and flowers for the domestic altar. 
Even the "useless" plants are cut into pieces with the machete and spread on the 

ground as vegetal manure. 

Informants explain the differences between mestizo coffee farms and theirs as 

follows: 

Mestizos from Cuetzalan have money, and we don't. They buy corn and firewood. 
They pay people to weed their coffee orchards, so they want the work to be done 
quickly. While we do it by hand, a little every day, as we go to the fields (Nahua 
female farmer). 

The reference to economic status, while quite real, does not explain every- 
thing. Let us go back to the weeding technique which, I propose, has been crucial 
in giving the Indian coffee orchard its actual ecological characteristics. The weed- 
ing of cornfields (tnilmeua), an obviously much older practice, is done with the 
hoe (tasaleuia, from salo, 'hoe'), various men working in a row, moving uphill; 
while the clearing of high grasses and shrubs (tauiteki) is done with the machete. 
So the hand weeding of the coffee orchards was neither copied from mestizos nor 
transferred mechanically from the main crops. Where did it come from? 

A closer look at the plant association gives us a clue. We see that among the 
plants associated with coffee shrubs are 12 kinds of flowers; among them, hortensias 
(Hydrangea hortensia D.C.) and camelias (Camellia japonica) which are not usually 
planted in the bush. Moreover, when asked about the 'proper place' or 'home' 
(ichanyojkan) of the 184 plants, 15 of them were said to belong to the 'house site' 
or 'backyard' (kaltsintaj, kalikampa). This includes many of the fruit trees and 
the useful shrubs. An aerial look at an Indian village of the Sierra shows that the 
village itself is probably the most intensely cultivated area (Mathieu 1986:38). Long 
before the introduction of coffee, this area around the houses was already planted 



ornamental plants and contained a small 



60 BEAUCAGE and TALLER de TRADICION ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17,No.l 



medicinal 



plants. 



enhance the erowth 



If you clear it with the machete, it won't last long. The weeds will soon be back 
and choke your flowers; and make you wet with dew when you walk! (Nahua 
male farmer) 

We suggest that, when the natives progressively adopted coffee growing dur- 
ing the first half of this century, they considered it an extension of the home garden 
(kalikampa) and applied to it the same intensive techniques. The small size of the 
orchards (usually under one hectare) and the fact that the labor input in coffee- 
growing does not interfere with the main corn cvcle. made it possible. So a 



knowledge of intensive farmine) made 



market trends, and most 



much lesser extent, the mestizo coffee orchard) a remarkably 



removed from 



growm 



humus and feel the freshness 



mt 
ing 



MEXICANO 
M FARMERS 



Mexico became 



economy 



government (and its foreign sponsors) were so proud of, nev 
an the large and mid-sized farms that produced for industry 
millions of peasant families that had been given small eiido 



land 



own families 



Mexico had to buy mil 



(Merigo Orellana 1979). At the same 



coun 



peasant unrest (Bartra 1979) 



multiple problem, the Echeverria and Lopez Portillo governments 



modernize the countryside 



and 



lty of the peasant producer. From __., ._ t „ ^ 

technical support was channeled to that purpose. In the lower Sierra it took the 
dual form of Plan Zacapoaxtla, a global development program with a staff of agrono- 
mists, and a coffee development program, managed by a special government 
agency, the Mexican Coffee Institute (INMECAFE). Each institution carved out its 
own sphere of activity: for most farmers, the co-operative (which the Plan 
Zacapoaxtla counselors helped to put in place) was the place to buy cheap corn 
and to sell allspice and sapote, while INMECAFE gave credit and bought coffee at 
a better price than the traditional intermediaries (Beaucaee et al. 1982). 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 61 



Mexican State, its scientists and intellectuals 



lem 



Tradition. Often, but not always, based on correct evaluations of regional ecosys- 
tems, agricultural policy aimed at substituting for peasant ways a 
techno-economical package designed to maximize the productivity of land and 



r. 1 he more centralized the « 
administrators to take into 



INMECAFE 



12 



thetic in this respect. 

Following the Green Revolution philosophy, this agency viewed the small tra- 
ditional orchards of coffee bushes and fruit trees as unproductive. It extended 



it farmers 
increase t 



// 



renew" their or- 



Mondo 



after planting, instead of after five, and give two to four tons per hectare instead of 
one. They were shorter (so, easier to reap) and needed no shade, but did need 
fertilizer and careful yearly pruning. Enticed by the credit opportunities and the 
good prices paid from 1978 to 1986, a majority of Indian farmers entered the gov- 
ernment scheme. Much corn land was converted to coffee: in 1982, the net income 
for the latter was ten times higher, per hectare, than the best milpas (Beaucage and 
Montejo 1984:23-24). However, money was now badly needed, not only to buy 
corn at ever-increasing prices, but even to buy firewood, which was getting scarce. 
In the 1980s the oatchwook of dense, dark ereen orchards and bright green corn- 



eas giving w 
INMECAFE 



// 



thanks to the State efforts and peas- 
d was almost a thine of the past. 



Their 



combined with a given amount 



number of man 



removed, since they 



sunlight and soil nutrients; and all weeding had to be done with the machete or 



In 



farmers 



this rich but delicately balanced environment 
developers. 



INMECAFE 's program 



some 



farm inputs and, most of all, the international price of coffee. It stuck to its policy 
throughout the 1980s, although it was increasingly evident that worldwide over- 
production could only lead to a market collapse. This occurred in 1989, when the 
U.S. and the other Western countries refused to sign a new international agree- 
ment on coffee quotas and floor prices. In a matter of months, prices paid to the 
producer fell from $0.60 US to $0.20 US per kg. For example, 1992 prices were not 
high enough to pay for harvesting, let alone growing, coffee. The Mexican Coffee 
Institute, which had run up a multi-million dollar debt, was dissolved. As if that 
were not enough, a December 1989 frost damaged or killed most coffee plants 
above 500 m throughout the Gulf Coast region. 



62 BEAUCAGE and TALLER de TRADICION ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



Eight hundred thousand families throughout the tropical mountains of Mexico 
were affected. Most farmers simply picked whatever coffee was left, without put- 
ting additional labor into maintenance. Those spared by the frost discovered that 
the new varieties had quickly-decreasing yields when the expensive fertilizers were 
no longer applied, and that they stopped producing altogether after 15 years, while 
previously they had lasted up to 30 years. Many then decided to cut down their 
orchards and plant corn instead, adding the risk of quick erosion. The better-off 
were — and still are — those whose had kept their multipurpose orchards, mostly 
older farmers. For their cafe criollo, under the shade of Inga trees, better resisted the 
frost, and they still could sell oranges and sapotes on the national market. Some 
younger men, ruined smallholders or unemployed farm hands, left for Mexico 
City or the U.S; others joined radical peasant Indian movements, as in Chiapas 
(Harvey 1995). 

In the aftermath of the crisis, independent organizations of coffee-growers 
have been formed (see Hoffman 1993; Pare 1993; Tulet 1993), which try to recon- 
cile the constraints of the market with peasant practical sense. There is a trend 
back to multiple-resource management, which takes into account both the fragil- 
ity of the tropical mountain environment and the unpredictability of international 
markets (Velazquez and Pare 1993; Olvera Rivera and Millan Vazquez 1994). In 
the Sierra de Puebla as in the other tropical mountainous areas, coffee- 
monocultivation may prove in the long run to have been a big mistake, largely 

induced by the outside, and painfully corrected through peasant experience after 
the collapse. 



NOTES 



athors in San 
Mexico. The 



Workshop) 



mestizos and has devoted itself for more than 15 years to the collection, transcription, 
translation, and publication of local oral traditions. It was established in 1980 at the initia- 
tive of a local schoolteacher, Alfonso Reynoso Rabago, and became part of the Centro de 
Estudios y Promotion Educativa Para el Campo (CEPEC). CEPEC is a local NGO, made of 
Indians and non-Indians, engaged in education and rural development: a high school, a 
kindergarten, a clinic, and various projects such as chicken and pig-raising, carpentry, bee- 
hives, etc. In 1986 and 1987, the Taller and Pierre Beaucage collected data on traditional 



knowledge 



ethnobiological 



— . v.h U .wl,iwxu 6 i,_cu urn* is sua in progress, bince 1988 we have also investigated locai 
archives in San Miguel, in the town of Cuetzalan, and in Libres, the district seat in colonial 
times. This research, which was carried on with the help of Carolina Ramirez, Gabriel 
Jaimez, and Pablo Valderrama. provided imnnrhnt mmniomonf.rv data «n the natterns 



The 



AHMC 



(Archivo Historico Municipal 



Mexico 



2 Luc Ferry (1992) has suggested that both visions, the utilitarian view of Nature and the 

preservationist one, in spite of their apparent antagonism, are aspects of the same ideol 
oev On the one hand thp matoi-i-.! ,., n .u — :_,. .1 . i i . , . ji „«. m 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 63 



the other hand, some sanctuaries have to be preserved "intact" so as to comfort Western 
public opinion, while massive environmental deterioration continues. 



3 Nahua Indians in the Sierra speak two dialectal varieties: Nahuatl to the North 
(Huauchinango-Xicotepec area) and Nahuat to the South (Zacapoaxtla-Cuetzalan-Teziutlan 
area). Following contemporary Mexican usage, we will refer to the people as "Nahua" and 
to the languages as either "Nahuatl" or "Nahuat," respectively. 



4 Our figures are based on the XI Censo Nacional de Poblacion y Vivienda 1990 (Instituto 
Nacional de Estadistica, Geografia y Censos 1992). The absence of any legal definition of 
the category "Indian" makes for a large amount of variation from one census to the other. 
It is also worth noting that Mexican statistics now include children under five; they were 
systematically excluded from the figures on Indian population before. 

5 I refer here to the 1970 census of the Direccion General de Estadistica (now INEGI) since 
the more recent data I had access to proved to be relatively unreliable for the municipality 
(municipio) as a whole. 

6 In the 1970s a strong peasant movement gave birth to a regional co-operative, the Tosepan 



We Shall Win 



ans 



tionships. As a symbol of this change, a two-story building was built in the town of 
Cuetzalan, where the Indians feel free to come and chat, and shelter from the rain, while in 
town. 



and 



1988. For the botanical identification of the specimens, we relied on the few publications 
available to this day for the Sierra (Martinez 1984, 1985). The expected publication of the 
extensive botanical research done in the Sierra under the direction of Miguel Angel Martinez, 



an 



8 The general distribution is as follows: edible plants: 24.8%; medicinal plants: 23.6%; fire- 
wood: 13.7%; construction: 11.0%; raw material for crafts: 6.6%; ornamental plants: 9.0%; 
fodder: 3.6%; "other uses": 10.8%. It is interesting to note that this grossly corresponds to 
the pattern observed by Benz et a\. among mestizo farmers in a mountainous, wooded area 
in western Mexico, although the later show a higher concentration of medicinal plants 
(31.7%) (1994:31). 



Women 



pick the lower branches and gather the ripe berries that have just fallen. 



similar association between plantation 



man 



fishing gear, and plant 



ducers. 



"The 



and 



Guido 1992:29-31; Caballero 1992). 



64 



BEAUCAGE and TALLER de TRADICI6N ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



12 From the beginning in 1974, Plan Zacapoaxtla had a broader mandate, that of "social and 
economic development." Thus, its staff was able to reorient the original, strictly productivist 
perspective in a way which allowed for the participation of Indian producers. Among other 
initiatives, the regional co-operative, Tosepan Titataniske, supplied subsidized staple foods 
and fertilizers, and successfully engaged in marketing non-traditional fruit crops such as 
allspice and sapote. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The research was financed by the Canadian Social Science Research Council, with some 
supplements from l'Universite de Montreal (CAFIR Programme). We want to thank the 52 
members of the community who shared their knowledge with us, and the local authori- 
ties, Mr. Agustin Ramiro and Dr. Edgardo Gonzalez, successive mayors of Cuetzalan, as 
well as Mr. Agustin Alvarez and Mr. Bias Gonzalez, auxiliary mayors for Tzinacapan, for 

their precious cooperation. 



LITERATURE CITED 



ALCORN, JANIS B. 1981. Factors 
influencing resource perception among 
the Huastec: suggestions for future 
ethnobotanical inquiry. Journal of 
Ethnobiology 1:221-230. 

ARIAS REYES, LUIS M. 1992. Tecnicas 
tradicionales de milperos bajo roza- 
tumba-quema en Yucatan. Pp. 37-42 in 
Ecotecnicas, Silvia del Ramo R. (editor). 
Secretaria de Educacion Publica/ 
Secretaria de Desarrollo Urbano y 
Ecologia, Mexico, D.F. 

ARIZPE, LOURDES. 1973. Parentesco y 

Economia en una Sociedad Nahua. 

Institute Nacional Indigenista, Mexico, 
D.F. 

ARIZPE, LOURDES, PAZ FERNANDA, 
and MARGARITA VELAZQUEZ. 1993. 
Cultura y Cambio Global. Percepciones 
Sociales Sobre la Desforestacion en la 



Selva Lacandona 



Porrua, Mexico. 
BARTRA, ARMANDO 



Angel 



la Cuestion Campesina. Mexico 1970- 
1976. Editorial Macehual, Mexico, D.F. 



BEAUCAGE, 

Anthropologic 



PIERRE. 



1973a. 
des 



economique 
communautes indigenes de la Sierra 
Norte de Puebla (Mexique). 1 - Les 
villages de basse montagne. Revue 
Canadienne de Sociologie et 
d' Anthropologic 10:114-133. 



1973b. 



Anthropologic 
economique des communautes 



indigenes de la Sierra Norte de Puebla 
(Mexique). 2 - Les villages de haute 
montagne. Revue Canadienne de 
Sociologie et d'Anthropologie 10:289- 
307. 

1974. Ethnohistoire et marxisme: 

etude d'une region peripherique de 
l'empire azteque. Anthropologica n.s. 
16:3-40. 

. -. 1987. Les identites indiennes: 

folklore ou facteur de transformation. 
Pp. 23-42 in Construction /Destruction 
Sociale des Idees: Alternances, 
Recurrences, Nouveautes. Brigitte 
Dumas and Donna Winslow (editors). 
Cahiers de l'Association Canadienne 
des Sociologues et Anthropologues de 
Langue Fran^aise, Montreal. 

1995. Ethnies et societes. Deux 

ethnohistoires des Nahuas (Sierra Norte 
de Puebla. Pp 337-365 in La 
Construction de l'Anthropologie 
Quebecoise. Melanges Offerts a Marc- 
Adelard Tremblay. Franqois Trudel, Paul 
Charest and Yvan Breton (editors). 
Presses de TUniversite Laval, Quebec. 

, M. GOBEIL, M. E. MONTEJO, 

and F. VITYE. 1982. Developpement 
rural et ideologie paysanne: ce qui se 
passe au village. Anthropologic et 

Societes 6:131-174. 

and M. E. MONTEJO. 1984. 

Rapports fonciers et rente fonciere: Une 
etude de cas dans la Sierra Norte de 



Puebla (Mexique). Pp. 4-30 in Le Cafe 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



65 



au Mexique et en Republique 
Dominicaine: Questions de Rente 
Fonciere. P. Beaucage et al. (editors). 



Ganaderia, desforestacion y conflictos 
agrarios en Chiapas. Cuadernos 
Agrarios 8-9:20-48. 



Universite de Montreal, Groupe de FERRY, LUC. 1992. Le Nouvel Ordre 



Recherches sur l'Amerique Latine, 
Montreal. 

BENZ, BRUCE R, FRANCISCO SANTANA 
M., ROSARIO PINEDA L., JUDITH 
CEVALLOS E., LUIS ROBLES H., and 
DOMITILA DE NIZ L. 1994. 
Characterization of mestizo plant use in 
the Sierra de Manantlan, Jalisco-Colima, 
Mexico. Journal of Ethnobiology 14:23- 
41. 

BOURDIEU, PIERRE. 1980. Le Sens 
Pratique. Editions de Minuit, Paris. 

BYE, ROBERT A. 1981. Quelites - 
Ethnoecology of edible greens - Past, 
present and future. Journal of 



Ethnobiology 1:109-123 



BERLIN, 



BRENT, 



DENNIS 



E. 



BREEDLOVE, and PETER RAVEN. 
1974. Principles of Tzeltal Plant 
Classification. Academic Press, New 
York. 
CABALLERO, JAVIER. 1992. Maya home 



Ecolog 

FLORES GUIDO, JOSE S. 1992. Las tecnicas 
agricolas tradicionales de Mesoamerica 
y su importancia en la conservation de 
la diversidad genetica. Pp. 25-36 in 
Ecotecnicas. Silvia del Ramo R. (editor). 

Secretaria de Educacion Piiblica/ 
Secretaria de Desarrollo Urbano y 

Ecologia, Mexico, D.F. 

GARCIA MARTINEZ, BERNARDO. 1987. 
Los Pueblos de la Sierra: El Poder y el 
Espacio entre los Indios del Norte de 
Puebla hasta 1700. El Colegio de Mexico, 
Mexico, D.F. 

GARCIA OLIVA, FELIPE. 1992. Las terrazas 
prehispanicas de Mexico: Un patron de 
distribution. Etnoecologica 1: 57-65. 

GIBSON, CHARLES. 1964. The Aztecs 
Under Spanish Rule: A History of the 
Indians of the Valley of Mexico 1519- 
1810. Stanford University Press, 
Stanford, California. 



gardens: Past, present and future. GONZALEZ, JUAN. 1905. Relation de 



Ethnoecologica 1:35-56. 

CHAMOUX, MARIE-NOELLE. 1981. 
Indiens de la Sierra. L'Harmattan, Paris. 

CONKLIN, HAROLD K. 1957. Hanunoo 
Agriculture. A Report on an Integral 
System of Shifting Cultivation in the 
Philippines. FAO Forestry Department, 
Paper No 12. United Nations. 

DE CARRION, JUAN. 1965. Description 
del Pueblo de Gueytlalpan [1581]. Jose 
Garcia Payon (editor). Universidad 
Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz. 

DE LA MOTA y ESCOBAR, FRAY 
ALONSO. 1940. Memoriales del obispo 
de Tlaxcala, Fray Alonso de la Mota y 
Escobar. Visitas 1609-1624. Anales del 
Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e 



Historia 1:191-206. 



DIRECCION 



GENERAL 



DE 



ESTADISTICA. 1975. Censo Agricola, 
Ganadero y Ejidal 1970. Puebla. 
Secretaria de Industria y Comercio, 

Mexico, D.F. 

DURAND, PIERRE. 1975. Lutte de Classes 
et Paysannerie au Mexique. Presses de 
l'Universite de Montreal, Montreal. 

FERNANDEZ, LUIS, MARIA TARRIO, 
DANIEL VILLAFUERTE, and MARIA 
DEL CARMEN GARCIA. 1994. 



Xonotla y Tetela[1581]. Pp. 124-173 in 
Papeles de Nueva Espana Vol. 5. 
Francisco Paso y Troncoso (editor). 
Gobierno Mexicano, Madrid. 
HARVEY, NEIL. 1995. Modernization rural 
y rebelion Zapatista: Chiapas 1988-1994. 
Pp. 215-235 in Globalization, Deterioro 
Ambiental y Reorganization Social en 
el Campo, Hubert Carton de Grammont 
(editor). Juan Pablos/Universidad 
Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, 

D.F. 

HOFFMANN, ODILE. 1993. II y a dix ans 
deja... Tentatives et faillites d'une 
modernisation dans le secteur social; les 
ARIC cafeieres du Veracruz. Pp 43-55 in 
Les Cafeicultures Mexicaines: La Force 
de la Tradition, les Risques de la 
Decomposition, Odile Hoffmann and 
Bertrand Sallee (editors). Geodoc No 39; 
Serie Moca No 3. Universite de 
Toulouse-Le Mirail, Toulouse. 

HOFFMANN, ODILE and BERTRAND 
SALLEE. 1993. Les Cafeicultures 
Mexicaines: La Force de la Tradition, les 
Risques de la Decomposition. Geodoc 
No 39; Serie Moca No 3. Universite de 
Toulouse-Le Mirail, Toulouse. 



66 



BEAUCAGE and TALLER de TRADICI6N ORAL del CEPEC Vol. 17, No.l 



HUNN, EUGENE S. 1977. Tzeltal Folk 
Zoology: The Classification of 
Discontinuities in Nature. Academic 
Press, New York. 

1982. The utilitarian factor in folk 



biological classification. American 
Anthropologist 84:830-847. 
INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE 

ESTADISTICA, GEOGRAFIA E 
INFORMATICA (INEGI). 1992. XI 
Censo General de Poblacion y Vivienda, 



NOLASCO ARMAS, MARGARITA and 
ALEJANDRO TOLEDO OCAMPO. 
1977. Avance del Estudio Socio- 
economic del Area Cafetalera de 
Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo y San Luis 



C ECODES / CON AC YI 



D.F. 



INEGI 



D.F. 



OLVERA RIVERA, ALBERTO and 
CRISTINA MILLAN VAZQUEZ. 1994. 

Neocorporativismo y democracia en la 
transformacion institucional de la 
cafeticultura: el caso del centro de 
Veracruz. Cuadernos Agrarios 10:53-69. 
ORTIZ, SUTTI. 1967. The structure of 
decision-making among Indians of 
Colombia. Pp 191-228 in Themes in 
Economic Anthropology, Raymond 
Firth (editor). Tavistock Publications, 

London. 
MARTINEZ, MIGUEL. 1984. Medicinal PACHECO MUNGUIA, CARLOS. 1969. 



PALERM 



1952. The Tajin Totonac. Part 1. History, 
Subsistence and Technology. Pub. No. 
13, Institute of Social Anthropology, 



Wash 



D.C.. 



plants used in a Totonac community 
the Sierra Norte de Puebla: Tuzamapan 



Cartogramas, Datos y Cifras del Estado 
de Puebla. Gobierno del Estado, Puebla. 



de Galeana, Puebla, Mexico. Journal of PAR£, LUISA. 1973. Caciquisme et 



Ethnoph 



1985. Nota etnolinguistica sobre 

el idioma nahuatl de la Sierra Norte de 
Puebla: La nomenclatura floristica. 



structure du pouvoir dans le Mexique 



lenne 



Amerindienne 



Ethnolin 



MATHIEU, DOMINIQUE 



de 1 organisation rurale dans un village 
de la Sierra Norte de Puebla (Mexique). 
Masters thesis, Ecole Pratique des 
Hautes Etudes, Paris. 
MEDELLIN MORALES, SERGIO. 1992. 
Manejo agrosilvicola tradicional en una 
comunidad totonaca de la costa de 
Veracruz, Mexico. Pp. 43-62 in 
Ecotecnicas, Silvia del Ramo R. (editor). 
Secretaria de Educacion Publica/ 



Anthropologic 10:20-43. 
. 1993. Du paternalisme d'etat a 
l'inconnu: quels modeles apres la 
disparition de lTnstitut Mexicain du 
Cafe? Pp 56-63 in Les Cafeicultures 
Mexicaines: La Force de la Tradition, les 
Risques de la Decomposition, Odile 
Hoffmann and Bertrand Sallee (editors). 
Geodoc No 39; Serie Moca No 3. 
Universite de Toulouse-Le Mirail, 

Toulouse. 

(editor). 1979. Ensayos Sobre el 

Problema Canero. Universidad 



Mexico 



D.F. 



Secretaria de Desarrollo Urbano y PASO Y TRONCOSO, FRANCISCO 



Ecologia, Mexico, D.F. 
MERIGO ORELLANA, ENRIQUE. 1979. 
Desarrollo agricola: Estado y crisis 
economica. Pp 243-268 in Capitalismo 



(editor). 1980. Coleccion de Mendoza o 
Codice Mendocino. Facsimile of the 



1925 edition. Editorial Inovacion, 
^ N/fcxico D.F. 

y Crisis en Mexico, Pedro Lopez D. et RAMIREZ S., CAROLINA, G. JAIMEZ R. 

al. (editors). Ediciones de Cultura and PABLO VALDERRAMA R. 1992. 

Tejuan Titalnamikij. Nosotros 
Recordamos el Pasado. Secretaria de 
Cultura, Gobierno del Estado, Puebla. 



Popular, Mexico, D.F. 
NIGH, RONALD and NEMESIO I 
RODRIGUEZ. 1995. Territorios 
Violados: Indios, Medio Ambiente y 

Consejo 



IVAN 
Mexico. Editorial Oceano. Mexico 



Nacional Para la Cultura y los Artes/ SECRETARIA DE AGRICULTURA Y 
institute Nacional Indigenista, Mexico. RECURSOS HIDRAULICOS (SARH). 

1990: Plan Nacional de Modernizacion 
del Campo. SARH, Mexico, D.F. 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



67 



SARMIENTO, SERGIO. 1991. Movimiento 
indio y modernizacion. Cuadernos 
Agrarios 2:90-113. 

TALLER DE TRADICION ORAL DEL 
CEPEC and PIERRE BEAUCAGE. 1987. 
Categories pratiques et taxonomies. 
Notes sur les classifications et les 
pratiques botaniques des Nahuas 
(Sierra Norte de Puebla, Mexique). 

Recherches Amerindiennes au Quebec 
16 (4):17-36. 



TOLEDO, VICTOR. 1985. La crisis 
ecologica. Pp. 27-51 in Mexico Ante la 
Crisis, Pablo Gonzalez Casanova and 
Hector Aguilar Camin (editors). Siglo 
XXI, Mexico, D.F. 

1992. What is ethnoecoWv? 



Origins, scope and implications of a 



22 



MARIA 



1988. Maseualxiujpajmej, 

Kuesalan, Puebla /Plantas medicinales 
indigenas. Cuetzalan, Puebla. 
Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), 
Puebla. 

1990. Le bestiaire magique. 

Caracterisation du monde animal par 

les Maseuals (Nahuats) de la Sierra 
Norte de Puebla. Recherches 

Amerindiennes au Quebec 20 (3-4):3-18. 

1996. La bonne montagne et 

l'eau malfaisante. Toponymie et 



and LUCIANO CONCHEIRO. 1995:La 
modernizacion en crisis: Analisis de la 
evolucion de los principales productos 
agroalimentarios — Un balance de la 
politica salinista para el campo. 

Cuadernos Agrarios 11-12:27-44. 
TULET, JEAN-CHRISTIAN. 1993. Les 



succes du cafe 



de la 



cooperative 



organico 
ISMAN (Chiapas, 



Norte 



de 



Mexique). Pp. 75-80 in Les Cafeicultures 
Mexicaines: La Force de la Tradition, les 
Risques de la Decomposition, Odile 
Hoffmann and Bertrand Sallee (editors). 
Geodoc No 39; Serie Moca No 3. 
Universite de Toulouse-Le Mirail, 
Toulouse. 
Puebla, ^Mexique). VELAZQUEZ, EMILIA and LUISA PARE. 

1993. Hacia la construccion de una 



pratiques environnementales chez les 
Nahuas de basse montagne (Sierra 



Anthropologie et Societes (in press). 
THOMSON, GUY PC. 1991. Agrarian 
Conflict in the Municipality of 
Cuetzalan (Sierra de Puebla): The Rise 
and Fall of Palagustin Dieguillo, 1861- 
1894. Hispanic American Historical 

Review 71:205-258. 



estrategia de desarrollo sustentable en 
la Sierra de Santa Marta, Veracruz. 

Cuadernos Aerarios 7:118-125. 



BOOK REVIEW 



Hunting the Wren: Transformation of Bird to Symbol. Elizabeth Atwood 
Lawrence. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1997. Pp. xx, 234. Illus., 
index. ISBN 87049-960-2 (cloth). 



customs in the annals of ethnozoology is the Hunting 



Wren. Throuehout most 



France, and probably neighboring areas (data is poor) — tl 
of hunting a wren (Troglodytes troglodytes, the "winter wren 
shortly after Christmas. In the British Isles, the hunt w 



the British Isles, 
is once a custom 



// 



in 



Day (December 26), the ceremonial day of the first Christian mart 
which the British exchange their Christmas gifts. Accompanying 



// 



killed 



referred to the wren as the "King of Birds 

often borne by two or more strong men, on a huge pole, as though it were a mon- 
ster animal. Its meat or feathers were then distributed for good luck, at least in 
some versions of the practice. 



68 



BOOK REVIEW Vol. 17, No.l 



Several folktales give accounts of why the wren is the "King of Birds/' but 



Many independent observers have come 



same 



me tact that it sings an amazingly long and 1 
yen in the worst winter storms. Significantly, 
mythology too, and this reviewer (unaware 

same explanation after hearing 



// 



power bird" in 



over the howling wind and lashing rain of Haida Gwaai southwesters. 

Countless variants of the hunt take place. It appears likely that the original 
form is the one in which meat is shared for luck. The cult is clearly associated with 
Celtic religion, being tightly linked with surviving Celtic culture. Lawrence airs 
sympathetically several theories that link it with the mysterious Druids. 

Much of this book is devoted to explanations of the wren hunt. Great numbers 
of folklorists, ethnologists, and psychologists have speculated on the custom. So- 



ingenuity. The 



symbolists 



sexual interpretations. For all these explanations, there is not one shred of evi- 
dence; they can be described only as flights of fancy. Every would-be decoder has 
taken bits and pieces of custom out of context and used them in a highly selective 
fashion to support a theory that, to the other decoders, seems oreoosterous. This 



humanistic scholars as well, must 



culture 



:ontnbute to something more than the wearisome history of human 
rence is properly cautious. She invokes E.O. Wilson's hypothes 
i to explain human interest in so insignificant an animal, and then w 
from the actual traits of the wren. Not only its song, but also its 
iabit, its skulking ways, its dull color, and its rather weak flight are rek 

image. She shows how these traits are observed, transformed 



ymbolically used in various forms of the wren hunt. There is much 



secrets. 



know 



This book is valuable to ethnobiologists for several reasons. First, it reminds 
us what an incredible amount of religious and symbolic lore accumulates around 
animals, even in "civilized" and "rational" Eurooe. Second, it 



serves 



cannot be explained 



some who thought they were being "scientific." In fact, this book's greatest value 
may be as a sort of museum of fantasies in the name of "theory." Third, it is an 



sympathet 



cult 



detachment 



E. N. Anderson 
Department of Anthropology 

University of California 
Riverside, CA 92521 



Journal of Ethnobiology 17(l):69-96 



Summer 1997 



THE USE OF PLOT SURVEYS FOR THE STUDY OF 

ETHNOBOTANICAL KNOWLEDGE: 
A BRUNEI DUSUN EXAMPLE 



JAY H. BERNSTEIN 

St. John's University 
Jamaica, NY 11439, USA 



ROY ELLEN 

Eliot College 

University of Kent at Canterbury 

Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NS, Great Britain 



BANTONG BIN ANTARAN 

Brunei Museum 

Kota Batu 

Negara Brunei Darussalam 2018 



ABSTRACT. — This paper describes a technique fc 
individual informants' ethnobotanical knowled 



Dusun community of Merimbun in Brunei. Two knowledgeable but non-literate 
Dusun informants enumerated marked plots of both recent and old secondary 
growth mixed dipterocarp forest near the village. They were able to provide names 
(other than life-forms or the most general basic and intermediate categories) for 
86-97% of species growing in the plots. Between 152 and 170 plant names were 
elicited by the surveys. In all cases, about 88% of the names were at the basic 
naming level and 12% below. The surveys reveal the breadth of biodiversity knowl- 
edge of particular types of forest and highlight differences in the knowledge of 
individual informants and the ways in which that knowledge is organized. The 
plot-survey technique provides a way of measuring the comprehensiveness of 
local knowledge of plants with reference to all plant types found within circum- 
scribed plots in locally recognized biotopes, and may be useful as a rapid means 
of assessing local ecological diversity. 

RESUMEN.— Este articulo describe una tecnica para usar encuestas de parcela a 
fin de medir el conocimiento etnobotanico que tienen los informantes individuates 
acerca de los bosques, aplicada a la comunidad dusun de Merimbun en Brunei. 
Dos informantes dusun, conocedores del bosque si bien analfabetas, enumeraron 
parcelas marcadas de bosques secundarios mixtos de dipterocarpaceas, tanto de 
crecimiento reciente como bosques secundarios mas viejos, cerca de la aldea. 
Fueron capaces de suministrar los nombres (aparte de las formas de vida o las 
categories basicas o intermedias mas generates) de entre un 86 y un 97% de las 
especies que crecian en las parcelas. Entre 152 y 170 nombres de plantas fueron 
elicitados por las encuestas. En todos los casos, alrededor del 88% de los nombres 
estuvieron al nivel basico de nombramiento, y 12% por debajo de este. Las 
encuestas revelan la amplitud del conocimiento de la biodiversidad de 



70 BERNSTEIN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



determinados tipos de bosque, destacando las diferencias en el conocimiento de 
inf ormantes individuates, y las formas como es organizado ese conocimiento. La tecnica 
de encuestas de parcela proporciona una manera de medir la extension del 
conocimiento local de las plantas con referenda a todos los tipos de plantas encontradas 
dentro de parcelas circunscritas en biotopos reconocidos localmente, y puede ser util 
como un metodo rapido de valoracion de la diversidad ecologica local. 

RESUME. — Dans cet article, nous decrivons une technique d'utilisation de leve 
de terrain pour mesurer la connaissance ethnobotanique d'informateurs 
individuels relative aux forets, telle qu'exemplifiee dans la communaute dusun 
de Merimbun au Brunei. Deux experts dusun non scolarises ont dresse un 
inventaire de terrains marques, pres du village, constitues de foret de 
dipterocarpacees mixte de croissance secondaire ancienne et recente. lis ont nomme 
(sans compter les termes utilises pour designer les formes de vie ou les categories 
de base et les categories intermediates les plus generates) entre 86 et 97% des 
especes poussant dans ces lots. De 152 a 172 noms de plantes ont ete elicites durant 
ces enquetes. Dans tous les cas, environ 88% des noms etaient des termes de base 
et 12% de niveau inferieur. Cette etude montre l'envergure de la connaissance de 
la biodiversite de types particuliers de forets, elle met en evidence la variation de 

la COnnaiSSanCe entre leS informatPlirc pt Ipc farnnc rlnnf la mnnaiccanro Pet 



technique 



connaissance 



trouvent a l'interieur de terrains circonscrits dans des biotopes reconnus 
localement, et peut s'averer utile comme moyen d'acces rapide a la diversite 
ecologique locale. 



INTRODUCTION 



We address aspects of the knowledge and use of forest plant species by the 
Dusun, an indigenous minority group in Brunei. We analyze data on the composi- 
tion of forest plots obtained through inventory surveys conducted with two Dusun 
informants. The standard technique in most ethnobotanical work has been the 
collection of herbarium specimens, sometimes acquired systematically, though 
more often opportunistically, from a range of different biotopes. 1 Through this 
method it is possible to discover what informants know about any individual plant 
collected, but it does not give an overall picture of what is known about a particu- 
lar patch of habitat or forest type, in part because it is hard work collecting 
identifiable voucher specimens for all different kinds of plants in even a small 
area (Martin 1995:155). Indeed, until quite recently the diversity and biomass of 
the herbaceous component of tropical forests in particular have been greatly un- 
derestimated, partly because of the absence of appropriate plot surveys (Poulsen 
1996). Moreover, a conventional ethnobotanical herbarium collection cannot be 
used to determme how many plants are recognized in a given habitat, and what 
proportion of these might be useful; nor can it tell us much about the plants people 
are unable to identify or recognize. Part of the work of assessing ethnobotanical 
knowledge mvolves assessing ethnobotanical ignorance (cf. Ellen 1979). More spe- 
cifically although we now have increasing evidence concerning indigenous 
knowledge of rainforest species, and although we know that to some extent that 
knowledge (measured in numbers of names for plants) broadly reflects biodiversity 



Summer 1 997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOG Y 71 



(Berlin 1992:99; Ellen in press), in depth knowledge of individual species and gen- 
eral knowledge overall is always skewed to some degree by the uses to which 
plants are put. We know of no previously published attempts to test informants' 
knowledge of all plant life contained within designated patches of forest. It was 
for this reason that in the Brunei study we have chosen to supplement more con- 
ventional strategies with plot inventories. 

We are concerned here with the problems and materials of both cognitive an- 
thropology and rainforest ecology. By using a plot-survey technique we were able 
to measure individual informants 7 ethnobotanical knowledge, defined in terms of 
their ability to name plants. Our study also provides evidence for the organization 
of ethnobotanical categories. Finally, it enables an assessment of the biological 
character of uncultivated areas, the extent of diversity, and an estimate of the po- 
tential economic value of the areas. The results of plot studies can contribute to 
the development of what Hunn (1982) has called a "post-ethnoscientific 
ethnobiology," by situating knowledge about plants in a broader context of hu- 
man-environment relations. 



PLOT SURVEYS IN ETHNOBOTANICAL WORK 



understand the com 



ticular biological habitats is long-established in plant ecology. The idea of a 
systematically or randomly-seL 



sam 



study closely," was introduced 



and 



rats could either be simple lists of all plants within a space (list quadrats) or graphic 
illustrations of the structure of an association as seen in a ground plan (quadrat 
charts), in which species were indicated using some kind of notation (Tansley and 
Chipp 1926:58). For early workers, quadrats were often thought to be inappropri- 
ate for woody vegetation, where line or belt transects were considered more 



anslev and Chipp 1926:58, 61-62). Moreover 



dom 



necessary scales being too divergent. Simila 
gnificant 



tropical rainforests (Tansley and Chipp 1926:59; see also Tansley 1923:94-129; 



Richards 1952:22-38; Whitmore 1990:27). However, by the 196Us quadrats or plot 
surveys had become commonplace in ecological studies of even rainforest, having 
been pioneered by P. W. Richards in the 1930s (Richards 1939; Richards, Tansley, 
and Watt 1940). They are now an essential tool in all serious analyses of composi- 
tion, structure, and dynamics. Since the work of Odum (1971:17), plots have also 
become a statistical device for obtaining limited sample areas from which total 
counts can be made to estimate a standing crop of plants or for measuring energy 
capture and release. In Brunei, the first permanent plots were established in 1957 
by Peter Ashton at Kuala Belalong and Andulau (Ashton 1964:5-8). 

In ethnobotany and human ecology plot surveys first made an appearance in 
studies of swiddening, though less as a tool to assess plant knowledge and classi- 
fication than as a means of establishing the agricultural and ecological character 
of QwiHHpnQ hv rnmndiKr their floral composition (initially Conklin 1957:85-86; 



72 



BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



more recently, e.g., Boster 1983; Johnson 1983; Vickers 1983), and as a way of moni- 
toring planting decisions in different years (Boster 1984). Plot surveys have also 
been used to measure the value of non-timber products in the context of debates 
relating to the economics of sustainable rainforest extraction (Peters, Gentry, and 
Mendelsohn 1989). Much of this work, which has been conducted largely in the 
Amazon basin, has been inspired by the research of botanists associated with the 
New York Botanic Gardens. However, despite this incentive and other work (Balee 
1986, 1987; Balick and Mendelsohn 1992; Bennett 1992; Boom 1987), we are aware 
of no published accounts which report the use of plot surveys to complement gen- 
eral work on ethnobotanical knowledge, as opposed to those focusing on 
measurements of usefulness. There is, however, an important precedent for our 
work in the research of Stross (1973). Although not using a measured quadrat, 
Stross had Tzeltal informants name plants along a predetermined route, includ- 
ing both forests and cultivated areas, and thus he was able to measure and compare 
informants' ethnobotanical knowledge. Boster (1986) used a similar experimental 
method, guiding Aguaruna informants through gardens he had planted with up 
to 61 varieties of manioc. 






ETHNOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND 



Rambai mukim (administrative 



Merimbun 



traditional homeland of the Brunei Dusun. Merimbun village comprises three ham- 
lets, one at Lake (Tasek) Merimbun, consisting of seven houses, and smaller hamlets 
at Kuala Ungar (three houses) and Pulau Rita (four houses). The present popula- 
tion consists of about 100 people spread over an area of about five km 2 (Figure 1). 



FIGURE 1.— Map 
district, Brunei. 



Dusun village of Merimbun 



Bandar Seri 
Begawan, 






u 



25 



kms 



25 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 73 



The Dusun are one of seven ethnic groups in Brunei constitutionally recog- 
nized as Malay. The Brunei Dusun seem to be a branch of the Bisaya, an ethnic 
group based in Limbang, a district once belonging to Brunei, but ceded to Sarawak 
in 1890. 2 Since they are officially classified as Malay there are no up-to-date demo- 
graphic statistics specifically about the Dusun population, though a well considered 
estimate is that there are 5,000 non-Muslim Dusun in Brunei (Antaran 1993:19). 
(More recent information suggests that this estimate could be low.) It is clear, how- 
ever, that the cultural population labelled "Dusun" by insiders and outsiders alike 
(defined usually in terms of adherence to language, ritual practices and beliefs, 
and through non-adherence to Islam) is decreasing as a result of marriages to 
Malays and Chinese, and through conversion to Islam. Furthermore, traditional 
Dusun language and culture is not being effectively reproduced (Kershaw 1994). 
In large part, this is due to social and economic mobility. With a large public sector 
economy, Bruneians are abandoning traditional economic pursuits to join a labor 
force away from their villages. As this occurs, traditional social formations, and 
the cultural knowledge which sustains them, decline (Ellen and Bernstein 1994; 

Bernstein in press). 

The period of rapid growth in Brunei's economy in the 1950s corresponds 
with the transformation of Dusun culture and society, and its assimilation into 
modern Brunei society, including conversion to Islam and language shift converg- 
ing on Malay. During this period of oil-based development, Dusun in large numbers 
began leaving their villages and seeking wage labor; education in Malay also be- 
came available through the building of rural schools. While the Dusun are now 
fluent in Malay, previous generations had imperfect command of the tongue, and 
if they spoke it at all, it was "falteringly or with strong accents" (Kershaw 1994). 

Prior to this transformation, Dusun were almost entirely rice agriculturalists, 
supplementing their starch staple from cultivated fruit orchards and by hunting, 
gathering, and fishing. Some species in orchards and forest overlap, indicating 
long-standing human modification of the rainforest environment and selection of 
wild species for cultivation and genetic improvement. Examples are lalet (the 
durian, Durio spp., especially D. zibethinus L.), embokot (Nephelium macrophyllum) , 
and julok (Lepisantes fruticosa [Roxb.] Leenh). The most sought-after fruits are sibut 
(Dacryodes expansa [Ridl] H.J. Lam) and kalokog (Willughbeia sp). Besides fruit trees, 
a large number of vegetables are grown (Antaran 1993:71-72) and wild vegetables 
are gathered, particularly edible ferns. There is evidence of selective management 
of palms, such as dabor (Daemonorps fissa Blume) and benjiru {Licuala paludosa 
Griff, and Licuala spinosa Wormsb). 

The forests in this region are of lowland mixed dipterocarp type, but show 
interesting variations (Figure 2). The drainage basin, of which Lake Merimbun is 
the center, contains freshwater swamp forest (both levee alluvium [emparan] and 
lower level alluvium); peat swamp forest and padang forest (both dominated by 
encarangan, Dactylocladus stenostachys Oliver); mixed dipterocarp forest with un- 
even canopy, or moderately open with some medium or large emergents; 
dipterocarp forest with a dense uneven canopy, with medium-sized and large 
crowns on steep terrain (25-35°); secondary forest; and currently cultivated land 
(including some swamp rice land and plantation, but mainly swidden) (Brunei 
Forest Resources Planning Study, Forest Type Map 1984: Sheet 4; fieldnotes). 3 



74 



BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



FIGURE 2. — Schematic illustration of major forest types in the Dusun 



• ft ft 



ft 4 



t m • 



• ■ 



» * * 



• * 



r.* o 1 \\\v, 

■ I m - tJ« I ft * • a * 



"i * 



*/* - /-^ - » x ■ / ■ >*^ ■ * /i 

f J. 3 *^*_Lf ({ ^*- 

■ * * ^ft' * ^* * •"•r ? \ * \ * _-4^fc* 



9 ft 




• ■ >s9.1 



• 4 4 



4 4 



- V^ * 4 * ft 



ft ftj (ft 

ft • 
ft 

» *ftj 4 

*^» • "*•—•»*■*-* 4 4 ft ft ft ft 

• • N « - * • i i 



• " Al- \<*> 



ft 




ft I ■ 



ft ft ft ft 




3.5:; 



' 1 * 



ft ft 



■ ft 



* * J • * _#▼ " * I -Aft** 1 ^ 



ong 



■ v 



• 



4 * 



ft a 



9 ft 



■ t ft 



* ^W * 



■ ft 



ft ■ 



v ft 




r ft 



• ft ft 

i ft ft ft 

ft # ft * i 
ftftftftftft* av 

• ftft^ftftftftft 

,«ft 444* ft««ftt>4 

**•■••••♦< 

♦•■•■•ftftftftft 
ft ft> ft ft ft 0«ft)ft>ft>ft)ft>t«4>ft < 

ftftftftftftftftftftftftftftft 



ft 4 



■ ft 



ft ft « 



' ft 



ft ft ft ft ft » 

ft ft ft ft ft 



• ft * ft 



— f . d • * 4 * * f TV* • * • 4 • • • •» — • « • • • » 

■ * ■*• ' f ■ /• * A> ■ • ft4*ftftftQCTft 

• ft|ft-m ••■/• /^ -} > \ . * . *ftft w * v ft«ftftftftJ 

■ W ■ ft|*T • • %f . . / -fth -ft-. \ 4 • • * 4 . J 4 4. 

* • *X / •» •■•^•••■•/■ftftftftftftftft^fl 

* * XV *X * I* WiW •»•••••■**•«#••# 4™ 

w)*/ ■ , ^ * -* * ^ • • •■ fT ■ ■ • • • ■ • • * • * 

9/5R 




ft ft) * ft 



■ ■ 



1^X3.1 J 



^ftj- -^T . ^ T, 

* ^^pft-ft-ftf 4 ft ft ft » ^^ /_ 



• Kuala 
Ungar 



l t \^ > Sangkuang-. •.-.-. •.-./. 

^ ..4ft* 
• «4 w_ * • • I ■ * ^ m ft 4 ft ft ft 

ft * • • 4 ^J X^SO^^X' II " " i^\^^^ m ^^^^^ 



■ ft. 




""tf>~ 



* * 



h^. 



■ ft 



3.3/- - -i 



ft ft 



ft ft 



A 



\ •/ • [ • ] ■ 3. Tutong \ ■ !•" -] 

5j ■•■•••• 4 -^\ 

9 2\ • ^"^ •'rBenutan* 
<T X * ^"^ ' \ * /a *^" 

^Sfti \* V ■ • It * tf ftl 

ftt * £*^ •"•#•>• ft> ft> • < \> ^^ »\ . J» , ,\ . . ■*•»• 



^ 



4 • 



ft ft 4 . 







ft * 



ft ft 



■ ■ 



2 2"i • • r* 

■MtftftTftftJ * — I p • I * 



Tasek 
Merimbun 



«&. 



ft ft 



. • • 



« • ft • ft # 



p ■ 



* 4 4 * « • 

•4 44ftft«ftftV* 

■ • ft) ft ft ft 



.• •! 



4 4 




ft ft 



• 4 



ft ft 



ft 



.*/*/.:* 



L* 



- - — - — ^- w w ^ — w w _ - . » . ^ ^^ 

*•»•• --* -» ft •■•••• I L 

*J I ■ * 1 a ^«l ft 

• • • • ft ftj.OftJ • • • y^^j.iL^ # ./J. 



ft'ftf 



ft ft t ft 4\ ft * 



^W% 



N^ 



w>/- 



■ ftftftftftftftftft 
ftftft*ft« v «ftft 

••*4ft>4ft>4ftB 
■ • • ft 



P ft 




4 4 



4 » 



*£ 



3.5J 



f Xftft*. ••fP4#4 • A ft. ft ■ I * X 

•^..-ftw* 4 ♦ • • 4 -\ ^^*v \ fulonil 4 »^ 



-.t»<* 



K^: 




p * » * § ftj-ff/ • « • » p 
* 4 • « t^* * « « • * * » 

* * 4 p 
« > • * 4 4 

ft ft • ft 4 4 

fftftftftftftftft 



■t 4 



4^ ■ 



• 



ft ft ft 



ft • 



<0 



> 



5(1)1" 1 c-, 







^^^^^~ 4 ft] r m — ^ — ^^ — m 

m **\ ••>•»%*»•*• r*t\ ■ ft w* ! • * o 1* | * # "/V* w^ 

•**•*■*•***•• ft^% *j **# P I *4ftF - -^ ^**— * 



4 ft • 



ft ft 



4 • • • ft 



.100 



O 



^ 



^9 VJ h (\ 



Q 




•fc^^j*''" ft* ftftft^Pftftft ^^^ 4^^^ 4 4 1 ■ ■ ■ 1 t 

^ -•»*4ftftp ^p— - r— ft* >%^ * • « 1 • « ft J 

II "^ - •*#••> ft 4^*%^ X •■» »*» «W ft • ft ft ft ft ftf 

-4^^ 4*.-4*ftft --p*^ ^^ ftftftftftftftl 

* * 4 4 . »^^ ^ ^ lib • Sb> ^ ^^k__4_ 4 « 1 ~ . 



* * 



50* 



::•:::■:•:■:: :\Medit swamps} 



• ' ■ A— ftB ftftftf ftftM 



<5»a 



\ 



ft ft 4 * ft ft> 



£■ ft «1 ft 



^ 



WW 



^, 



i^£^ 



5(4)11 Wj y - ^ 





^ . . - . •*** -• ■ 




^ 



<2 



5(2)/8 



\ 



S.Medit ^< yr-^o 





5?2)/8^^ 






^\ 









r ^ 



<^ 



Forest types 



• • 



Fresh water swamp forest, 
lower level alluvium (2) 

Peat swamp forest (3) 



Secondary forest (8) 



□ 



' . \ \ ' . Current cultivation (9) 



Mixed dipterocarp forest (5) 







km 



The Dusun language has no overall term for uncultivated land. The Dusun 
word for forest (entalun) refers only to land never known to have been under 
cultivation. Gapu' refers both to abandoned fields and secondary forest, that is, 
land known to have been brought under cultivation. Habitats are classified as 
hilly (buktd), 'swampy' (payoh), and 'alluvial' (gana). Ground types are classi- 
fied into 'compressed' (pidot) and 'uncompressed' (padang) land, the latter being 



known 



with small plants. Grassy swamp 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 75 



METHODOLOGY 



The plot-survey technique was used to supplement data on Dusun ethnobotany 



obtained through herbarium co 
In the course of the Merimbun 



specimens. The main 



men 



:ted, among them 436 with different and non-synonymous nam 
mostly fertile specimens) were discussed with informants 



Forestry 



The 



specimen 



cates sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (K), and triplicates deposited at 
the University of Kent Ethnobiology Laboratory (UKC) where they were available 
for further examination and despatch to other herbaria. 

By presenting the names of plants that had been collected to a wide range of 
Dusun informants it became clear that substantial knowledge of forest plants was 
limited to a few people, mainly older men. Division of knowledge by age has been 



ethnographi 



know som 



tanical knowledge is acquired and lost (Dougherty 1979). In the Brunei Dusun 
case, however, the asymmetry between young adult males and men over 50 would 
appear to be more marked. Young men generally failed to recognize large num- 
bers of plant names elicited through fieldwork with older men. This may, in part, 
reflect the disappearance of ethnobotanical knowledge due to rapid transition to a 
wage-based economy, universal primary education, and movement away from 
rural settlements to peri-urban residences (Ellen and Bernstein 1994). While cer- 
tain women are knowledgeable about uncultivated plants, the male informants 
selected were judged to have greater knowledge of plants found mainly in more 
remote forests, because of their hunting activities, in which no women participate. 
Moreover, women could not be used as guides because of prevailing social mores. 
In effect, our study of Dusun ethnobotanical knowledge was to a great extent 
one of salvage ethnography, documenting for posterity a fast-disappearing body 
of knowledge. To gain a measure of the extent of the knowledge of plant diversity 
in given forest vegetation types, rather than the global ethnobotanical knowledge 
of particular informants, or the maximum knowledge of some omniscient speaker- 
hearer, it was decided to supplement other methods with a plot survey approach. 
At this stage in the work we were unaware of the existing techniques of plot sur- 
vey employed bv other ethnobotanists (Martin 1995). 4 



On 



presenting two different vegetation types (cf., Phillips and Gentry 



Merimbun 



brought under cultivation in living memory, and another area that had been broug] 
under cultivation more than 20 years previously, but which had subsequently r< 
generated. We were advised in this task by an informant. Both sites were within 
few minutes of the asphalt-paved road from Merimbun to Bukit Sawat and one 1 
two km from the houses of the informants. Both had a similar underlying geolog 



76 BERNSTEIN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



and soil composition. 5 From mid-August until 2 September, for a total of 11 days 
(including three half-days), the plots were enumerated by two Dusun men. Both 
were locally born; neither had received any formal education, though both were 
able to write their names. Both were traditional non-Muslim Dusun, though in 
common with many Dusun, some of their children had converted to Islam. The 
first informant, Umpoh bin Madah (aged 68), spoke Malay and Iban as well as 
Dusun, and the second, Gumpol bin Payor (aged 77), spoke Penan in addition to 
those languages. (He is married to an Iban woman.) Gumpol could also under- 
stand some spoken Chinese and could read Chinese numerals, since he had 
associated closely with Chinese and worked for them many times over the years. 
Both men had supported themselves through hunting, and Umpoh still did so at 
the time of fieldwork. The two men chosen for this task were also the primary 
informants used in plant-collection. They were considered within their commu- 
nity to be the most knowledgeable about forest plants. Others who may have been 
comparably competent could not be used because of their poor health. 

The two plots described in this paper were located in areas described as gapu' 
bukid and entalun bukid. Selection of sites was based on tvpicalitv as judged by 



a 15-25 



o 



essibility. The 



informants 



The largest trees were between 17 and 36 cm dbh (diam 



(alternatively 
ver known to 



m or more between them 



trees included a few between 54 and 70 cm dbh. Plot 1 was located in an ar 

indicated as "under cultivation" and plot 2 as "secondary forest of at least 25 year 

in the Forestry Planning Map dated 1984. The data on which compilation of tl 

map was based must in some cases have been rather old and partial, though t 

match between official records, field observations, and informant judgements 
encouraging. 



// 



meters. These 



viaea into tour giving a total of eight quadrats of about 576 m 2 each (Figure 3). 6 
1 hese were marked off with tape for study. Informants were asked to name every 
plant they could identify within a quadrat and to indicate those plants they could 



name 



the name or because they thought the plant had no basic name. Umpoh 

q ? ^u ' 1A 2X and 1A ' While Gum P o1 surveyed 1.2 and 2.2. To 
plant had been counted, the informant or Antaran would mark it with sp: 

Bernstein recorded data on a clipboard and entered it into a laptop com 
same evening. r r 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



77 



FIGURE 3. — Tasek Merimbun plot quadrat notation 



Plot 1 - Gapu-20 year regrowth 



Plot 2 - Entaluno\6 forest 



1.1 



1.2 



1.3 



1.4 



2.1 


2.2 


2.3 


2.4 



As others have found in practice, not every plant can be registered in this way. 
It is very time-consuming to record smaller plants, and seedlings are not readily 
identifiable using non-laboratory techniques. Although informants undertook to 
name as many individual plants as they could, a decision was taken to eliminate 
the smallest plants for the purposes of the quantitative survey. This was done by 
ignoring plants less than 3 cm high. Effectively, this meant grasses, moss, mush- 
rooms, the common fern engkubuk {Nephrolepis biserrata [Sw.]), and most very small 
seedlings, especially of ubor (Eugenia or Syzigium spp.). 7 Secondly, a distinction 



made between 



// 



plants and all others. This 



sponded approximately to a functional one: namely distinguishing trees which 
were regarded as having any use in their observed state. Thus, trees observed as 
immature seedlings and saplings with no uses were eliminated from the survey. 



In practice, 'Targe 



// 



its surveyed included trees with a diameter of at 
and vines and rattans of at least 2 cm diameter. 



was not to map out or measure particular plants, but more simply to assess the 
ethnobotanical knowledge of our two informants. For this reason, we did not limit 
our study to plants having a diameter >10 cm. dbh, but included all plants noticed 
by our informants, whether or not they could name them. Informants were also 
asked individually about the uses of each of the plants registered in the surveys. A 
short subsequent visit in April 1994 enabled us to check the plots and, with the aid 
of photography, make estimates of average canopy height, emergent tree forma- 
tions, and to measure the distances between larger trees. 

As our informants enumerated the plants found growing in each quadrat, they 
also found plants they were unable to identify with a basic (generic) name. In 
these cases they would say that they did not know which plant it was, or else that 
they had forgotten the name. In virtually all cases they assigned the plant to some 



the names our informants 
stimuli, and were not elicited through some 



they 



78 



ANTARAN Vol. 17, No.l 



In retrospect, some important shortcomings of our technique are apparent 
When we conceived the study we thought that by having informants survey ad 
joining plots it would be possible to increase the range of plant names (and hena 

in the study. We did not take into account our informant's com 



fallibility, which only emer 



two informants for this work, we are un- 
names even within the Tasek Merimbun 



>un community (see Romney et al. 1986 on methodological questions si 
informant competence, reliability, and consensus; cf. Boster 1986). Most 
erred to the authority of a few older individuals who were reputed 
erior knowledge of the forest environment and were considered tc 
ts." The reputation of our informants for hiehlv reliable knowledee 



"ex- 



plants was borne out in plant collection work. In the course of the study we re- 
peatedly interviewed our informants to check earlier statements, and Umpoh and 
Gumpol were very consistent in their answers. In very rare cases they provided 
different names for the same plant. One such plant was called akau bina manunggul 
by Umpoh and akau bina entakadby Gumpol. (In either case, the plant is Fabaceae.) 
When this discrepancy was mentioned to Gumpol, he said that akau bina 

manunggul was a different plant. Umpoh avoided saying that Gumpol was mis- 
taken. 

We did not insist at the outset on a standard measure of a hectare, but rather 
let our informant determine the size of the plot in terms of an "acre," as this unit is 



in contemporary Brunei 



m 



m, and to have used a quantitative rather than qualitative and subjective measure 



of "large 



ty 



three size categories: < 10 cm dbh, 10-20 cm dbh, and >20 cm dbh. Finall> 
tial for error is introduced in that we did not collect voucher specimens 
surveyed in the plots, but relied on linking common names with species, 
mined in the general ethnobotanical survev and nthor ^^r^ 



and ecologists working in 



findings may be useful to ethno 



mem in the interest of stimulating further research. The advantage of our method- 
ology is that vernacular names for all but the tiniest of visible plants within a 
quadrat were collected; thus we are able to represent informants' overall knowl- 
edge of plants within an environment. The technique also produced a number of 
unknown plants and forgotten plant names, allowing us to calculate a ratio of 
known to unknown plants. In this way, the study yields a quantitative measure of 
ettinobotamcal knowledge in terms of self-reporting. Since we do not define knowl- 
edge m terms of consensus (Romney, et al. 1986; Boster 1986), our technique does 
not require the use of a large number of informants, but may be carried out with 
only one informant. 

The floristic composition of the two plots is summarized in Table 1 . Most iden- 
Wications of Dusun plant names are based on our herbarium study. Plant names 
elicited in the plot studies were keyed to the names given for voucher specimens 

AHH v Y 'fjf ed £ with the sa ™ informants), which have been identified at Kew. 
Additional identifications were obtained from the Kew Brunei Checklist Proiect 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



79 



im 



seventh general principle of ethnobiological classification (1992:25-26), that ver- 
nacular terms at the folk-generic rank, as used by knowledgeable speakers of a 
language, are generally coterminous with the names of Linnaean taxonomy; that 
is, they tend not to refer to a variety of similar-looking plants in a number of gen- 
era or families. While some discrepancies and ambiguities remain, it is possible to 
identify all but a few Dusun plant names at least to botanical family and usually to 



number 



of enumerated 



enumera 



Table 1. — Inventory of number of genera and individual plants for each botanical 
family in two Tasek Merimbun forest plots. 



Plot 2: Old Secondary Growth 



Plot 1:20 Year Re-Growth 



FAMILY 



genera 



plants 



o/ 



Anacardiaceae 

Anisophylaceae 

Annonaceae 

Apocynaceae 

Araceae 

Araliaceae 

Arecaceae 

Asteraceae 

Bombacaceae 

Burseraceae 

Celastraceae 

Commelinaceae 

Connaraceae 

Costaceae 

Cyperaceae 

Dilleniaceae 

Dipterocarpaceae 

Ebenaceae 

Eleacapaceae 

Euphorbiaceae 

Fabaceae, Mimosoideae 

Fabaceae, Caesalpinoideae 

Fabaceae, Papilinoideae 

Fagaceae 

Flacourtiaceae 

Flegellariaceae 

Gnetaceae 

Guttiferae 

Hypoxidaceae 

Irvingiaceae 

Lauraceae 

Lecythidaceae 

Loganiaceae 



1 

2 
3 
1 
1 

8 

1 

2 
1 
1 
2 
1 
2 
2 
1 
1 
1 
3 
3 
1 
2 
1 



1 

1 

1 
1 

2 
1 
1 



18 

231 

34 

3 

200 



571 



2 
49 

1 
17 
94 

1 
31 
50 
19 

2 

55 

153 

401 

40 

464 

31 





6 
18 
14 
17 
209 
28 
68 



.3 

3.6 

.5 

.0 

3.1 

.0 

9.0 

.0 

.0 

.8 

.0 

.2 

1.5 
.0 
.5 
.8 
.3 
.0 
.9 

2.4 

6.3 
.6 

7.3 
.5 
.0 
.0 
.1 
.3 
.2 
.2 

3.3 
.4 

1.1 



genera 



plants 



/c 



1 

2 
5 
2 

3 
1 
4 
1 

2 
1 
1 
2 
1 
3 
2 
1 
1 
1 
5 
5 
1 
1 
1 

2 
1 
1 
1 
1 
1 
1 

1 



36 

58 

22 

24 

45 

1 

206 

2 



10 

7 

6 

109 

1 

15 

72 

8 

1 

10 

62 

19 

10 

493 

1 

2 

2 

8 

22 

252 

3 

56 



18 



.9 

1.5 
.6 
.6 

1.1 
.0 

5.2 
.0 
.2 
.2 
.2 
.2 

2.7 
.0 
.4 

1.8 
.2 
.0 
.2 

1.6 
.5 
.2 
12.4 
.0 
.0 
.0 
.2 
.6 

6.4 
.1 

1.4 
.0 
.5 



80 



BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



TABLE 1.— Continued. 



FAMILY 



Plot 2: Old Secondary Growth 



genera 



Marantaceae 

Melastomataceae 2 

Meliaceae 3 

Meliosmaceae 1 

Menispermaceae 1 

Moraceae 2 

Myristicaceae 2 

Myrsinaceae 1 

Myrtaceae 2 

Nepenthaceae 1 

Nephrolepidaceae 

Ochnaceae 1 

Olacaceae 

Ophilossuceae 1 

Oxalidaceae 1 

Pandaceae 1 

Piperaceae 1 

Polygalaceae 

Poaceae 

Rhizophoraceae 2 

Rubiaceae 7 

Rutaceae 1 

Sapindaceae 3 

Schizaeaceae 

Simaroubaceae 2 

Sterculiaceae 1 

Theaceae 1 

Thymeleacaceae 1 

Tiliaceae 1 

Triurdaceae 

Ulmaceae 

Verbenaceae 2 

Zingiberaceae 2 

RESIDUAL PLANT TYPES 

Ferns 

Fungi 

Mosses 

TOTAL ACCOUNTED FOR 

UNDETERMINED RESIDUE 



TOTALS 



55 families 
93 genera 



plants 




61 
11 

52 

16 

37 

23 

2 

1041 

1 



81 



1 

9 

18 

4 





15 

174 

3 

493 



57 

202 

3 

3 

10 





12 

39 



9 



5226 
1145 
6371 

plants 



/o 



.0 
1.0 

.1 

.8 
.2 
.6 
.3 
.0 
16.3 
.0 
.0 

1.3 
.0 
.0 
.1 
.3 
.0 
.0 
.0 
.2 

2.7 
.0 

7.7 

.0 
.9 
3.2 
.0 
.0 
.2 
.0 
.0 
.2 
.6 



.1 



82.0 

18.0 

100.0 



Plot 1: 20 Year Re-Growth 



genera 



2 
2 
2 
1 
1 
2 
2 
1 
3 

1 

1 


1 
1 
1 
1 
1 

2 
7 
1 
2 
1 
2 
2 
1 
1 
3 
1 
1 
1 

4 



62 families 
109 genera 



plants 



9 
122 

7 

1 
15 
243 
20 
21 
56 







15 

8 

28 
1 
6 



32 

162 

38 

324 

5 

42 

191 

6 

5 

12 

7 

1 

76 

15 



12 

6 


3077 
890 



/o 



.2 
3.1 
.2 
.0 
.4 
6.1 
.5 
.5 

1.4 
.0 



.0 
.4 
.0 
.2 
.7 
.0 
.2 



.8 
4.1 

.8 
8.2 

.1 
1.0 
4.8 

.2 

.1 

.3 
.2 

.2 
.2 
.4 



.3 
.2 
.0 

77.6 
22.4 



3967 100.0 
plants 



*Uncounted 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 81 



These results show that Fabaceae-Papilionoideae is overwhelmingly the most 
common family in plot 1 (recent secondary growth), with 12.4% of all plants. The 
second best represented family is Sapindaceae with 8.2%, followed by 
Hypoxidaceae with 6.4%, and Moraceae at 6.1%. In all, at least 109 genera in 62 
families were enumerated for this 20 year regrowth plot. 

In plot 2 (old secondary growth), five families dominated: Myrtaceae (16.3%), 
Arecaceae (Palmae) (9.0%), Sapindaceae {77%), Fabaceae-Papilionoideae (7.3%), and 
Fabaceae-Mimosoideae (6.3%). Ninety-three genera in 55 families were present, in- 
cluding eight palm genera and seven Rubiaceae. (these numbers are all minimal). 

In a recent study, Poulsen et al. (1996) inventoried a hectare of hill dipterocarp 
forest in Temburong District. This involved the enumeration of all trees >10 cm. dbh. 
They identified 231 species in 43 families. Dipterocarpaceae and Euphorbiaceae were 
dominant, followed by Anacardiaceae, Ebenaceae, Flacourtiaceae, and Myristicaceae. 
The Temburong study was botanically more thorough than our own work and was 
undertaken in an area with far less recent disturbance. The number of families repre- 
sented is roughly comparable, though both the rank order and content of the most 
common families is noticeably different. 



ENUMERATION 



KNOWLEDGE 



Primary Dusun plant categories.— There is no single, overall word in the Dusun lan- 
guage that encompasses all plant life, but plants can be grouped into various 
categories above the basic naming (generic) level (Bernstein 1996). The major named 
categories are kayuh ('tree'), akau ('vine'), and uivai ('rattan'). A smaller and less 
important, but physically salient category is kulat ('fungus'). These categories are 
life forms in Berlin's (1992) sense, being highly distinctive morphotypes contain- 
ing a large number of sub-categories. However, there are a number of other general 
categories the content of which is less well defined: usak 'flower', sakot (alter- 
nately sakot tanah or sakot burnt) 'weed', raun 'leaf, and utnbus or sancam 
Vegetable'. These are neither morphotypes nor completely exclusive. Some plants 
can be placed by informants in one of these categories as well as in a more obvious 
morphotypical life-form or other category; in other words, they cut across 
morphotypical categories and overlap amongst themselves. But while these plant 
categories are problematical in not conforming to the tidy analytic distinctions of 
ethnobotanists, they are not simply plant partonyms (e.g., "flower," "leaf"), and 
are regularly used by Dusun to classify plants into more inclusive groups. Both 
life forms and these more problematical categories comprise primary 



in that thev are characterized bv maximal inclusion within their 



domain 



to separate them out cognitively as special-purpose rather than general-purpose 

categories. 

Neither grasses nor herbaceous plants are labeled by a single Dusun life-form 
term, though there is some covert recognition that grasses are physically distinc- 
tive. Several named types of grass are placed in the categories kumpau, telasai, 
and rumput, which are conceptually linked. A similar pattern prevails for gingers 
(tumid-lingkuas-layoh), ferns (gerajai-paku-limputong-engkubuk-kuban), ba- 



82 BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN Vol. 17, No.l 



nanas (punti-rutai-binci-encarawan-powow), and palms of the genus Licuala 
(silad-benjiru-ukang) (Bernstein and Ellen in press). All are covert categories at 
the intermediate rank (Bernstein 1996). Other primary categories, the existence of 
which is demonstrable, but which have an ambiguous classificatory status, are a 
group of palms, pinang, focused on Areca catechu, and bulu' (bamboo). These pri- 
mary categories are summarized in Table 2. 



TABLE 2: — Main primary Dusun plant categories encompassing 



Life-forms 

kayuh 'tree' 

akau 'vine' 

uwai 'rattan' 

kulat 'fungus/mushroom' 

Covert Intermediates 

punti/rutai/binci/encarawan/powow 'bananas' 

gerajailpakullimputonglengkubuklkuban'iems' 
tumid/ lingkuas/ lay oh 'gingers' 

kwnpau/telasai/rumput 'grasses' 
siladlbenjirulukang 'licuala palms' 

Problematic: indeterminate rank 
bulu' 'bamboo' 
pinang 'Areca and similar palms' 

Problematic: non-taxonomic 
usak 'flower' 

sakot/sakot tanah 'weed' 
raun 'leaf 

umbus/sancam 'vegetable' 



Not surprisingly, the great majority of plants named in the plots were placed 
in the kayuh 'tree' life form, followed by akau Vine' and uwai 'rattan'. Other 
categories were less salient: fewer both in number of individual plants and in num- 
ber of kinds. For example, in his survey of two quadrats of plot 2 totaling 1152 m 2 , 
Gumpol identified 158 different plant names. Of these, 103 were kayuh, 26 were 
akau, and 8 were uwai. Twenty-one were other kinds of plants. In Gumpol's plot 
2 survey , 111 kayuh, 19 akau, and 9 uwai were named. Only 14 were other kinds 
of plants. These findings support the proposition that the category kayuh domi- 
nates Dusun ethnobotanical classification, with akau a distant second. The salience 
of kayuh, akau, and uwai is reflected in their frequency, in contrast to all other 
terms listed in Table 2, confirming their special life-form status (Bernstein 1996). 
breadth of knowledge. —For the most part informants had no trouble providing names 
even for small seedlings, though we have no independent confirmation of their 
identifications. 8 However, there was in each of the surveys a residual fraction of 
plants our informants were unable to identify. As Table 3 shows, in both surveys 
conducted by both men, there were some plants for which the informant either 
did not know the name or said he knew it but could not remember it. When "un- 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



83 



TABLE 3. — Plot survey summaries. 



Plot 1, 20 year regrowth 



All plants counted 
Large plants counted 
Basic name unknown - all 
Basic name unknown - large 
Basic name forgotten - all 
Basic name forgotten - large 
Total labeled categories identified 
Basic and primary categories 



Plot 2, old secondary growth 



All plants counted 
Large plants counted 
Basic name unknown - all 
Basic name unknown - large 
Basic name forgotten - all 
Basic name forgotten - large 
Total labeled categories identified 
Basic and primary categories 



Umpoh 



2917 

476 

357 

9 

63 



170 

151 



16.3% 

12.2% 

0.3% 

2.2% 

0.0% 



Umpoh 



5206 
398 

611 

41 

71 

12 

158 

132 



7.6% 
11.7% 
0.8% 
1 .4% 
0.2% 



Gumpol 



1052 

186 

38 







152 

135 



1 7. 7% 
3.6% 
0.0% 
0.0% 
0.0% 



Gumpol 



1162 

119 

44 

11 

10 



156 
139 



10.2% 
3.8% 
1.0% 
1 .0% 
0.0% 



known" and "forgotten 



// 



num 



// 



enumerated, it can be seen that Umpoh failed to identify 14.< 
I (gapu') and 13.1% of plants in plot 2 (entalun). Gumpol fail 
f plants in plot 1 and 4.8% of plants in plot 2. Thus, informants 
t in their ability to identify plants, regardless of forest type, 
identify" in this case means failure at the basic naming level (Be 



generic rank). 9 As can be seen from Table 4, only one plant m the entire survey 
could neither be recognized nor classified in any way by one of our informants. 
All other plants were classified in some more inclusive grouping. From Table 4 we 
can see exactlv which cateeories these are. The data indicate the indistinctiveness 



Some unknown 



kind 



fern), even though they were non-flowering. Data acquired in the course of her- 
barium collection reveal that some plants are included in the kaynh category along 



definite 



(Atran 1990); instead, it appear: 
ing many incompletely known 



84 BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN Vol. 17, No.l 



TABLE 4. — Breakdown of unidentified and incompletely identified plants in plot 
surveys. 



Umpoh Gumpol 



Plot 1 survey. 



Primary category All plants Large All plants Large 

(%) plants only (%) plants only 



kayuh — unknown 139 (4.7) 9 27 (2.5) 

kayuh — forgotten 38 (1.3) 16 

akau — unknown 91 (3.1) 

akau — forgotten 21 (0.9) 11 (1.0) 

akau-usak — unknown 1 (0.0) 

usak — unknown 113 (3.8) 

usak — forgotten 2 (0.0) 

kuban — unknown 10 (0.3) 

lay oh — forgotten 1 (0.0) 

uwai — forgotten 1 (0.0) 

lay oh group * 1 (0.0) 

bakong group * 4(0.1) 



Plot 2 survey 



Primary category All plants Large All plants Large 

(%) plants only (%) plants only 



akau — unknown 286(5.5) 19 19(1.6) 5 

akau — forgotten 25 (0.5) 6 1 (0.0) 

akau-usak — unknown 2 (0.0) 

usak — unknown 35 (0.7) 

usak-gerajai — unknown 1 (0.0) 

lingkuas group — unknown 17 (0.3) 

gerintik group — unknown 2 (0.0) 

kuban group — unknown 1 (0.0) 

gerajai group — unknown 2 (0.0) 

bakong group * 2 (0.0) 

tumid group — unknown 1 (0.0) 

barasan tanah'* \ (0.0) 



tisil 



12(1.0) 



* Name at folk-specific rank not provided 



Lay oh, tumid, and lingkuas are different kinds of ginger. Gerintik, kuban, 
and gerajai are all kinds of fern. Plants identified in the survey as "a kind of 
bakong; 9 "a kind of lay oh," or "a kind of tumid" presumably indicate kinds be- 
low the basic naming level, though their precise intermediate status is ambiguous. 
From data accompanying the systematic collection of ethnobotanical herbarium 
vouchers we found that, besides plants called tumid (including tumid entalun 
['forest tumid', Costaceae] and tumid lamatai ['ghost tumid', Plagiostachys 
strobilifera (Baker) RidL] ), the tumid category also includes plants called encalongon 
(Plagiostachys crocydocalyx [K.Schum.] Burtt & R.M. Smith), kunyit ('turmeric', 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 85 



Curcuma longa Valeton), sagang (Etlingera punicea [Roxb.] R.M. Smith), and sumbang 
(Hornstedtia reticulata [K.Schum.] K. Schum.), as well as the various binomially- 
labeled sub-categories (e.g., kunyit lamatai ['ghost turmeric', Hedychium 
longicornutum Griff.]). 10 These terminal categories differ in a number of ways from 
the unmarked, common form of a generically identified plant. Some data in Table 
4 refer to unknown kinds of the basic categories bakong (Crinum) and tisil 
(Urophyllum). These are identifications at the basic naming level. Another plant, 
barasan tana' (Pandanus sp.), is presumably a contrasting sub-category since there 
are other kinds of barasan. An unknown kind of barasan tana' presumably indi- 
cates the existence of contrasting categories at a more specific level. 

Some plants may not be given names at the basic (generic) level. Umpoh could 
not identify many plants he classified as usak, saying they had no name, i.e., no 
basic name. 11 However, Gumpol identified no plants as unknown usak in either 
of his two surveys. Kulat 'fungi' found in the plot surveys, all lacked basic names. 
Only edible mushrooms are known by basic names within the Dusun community 
under study (with the exception of kulat jelundong 'shade mushroom' and its 
sub-type kulat jelundong purak 'white shade mushroom'), and no edible mush- 
rooms were encountered in any of the places surveyed. 

In other cases, while plants may be identified in the sense that they represent 
familiar forms previously encountered, their "true" basic names may be unknown 
or lacking. Thus, in the surveys, some plants were identified as akau uru lanok 
'burn medicine vine', kayuh penawar racun 'poison antidote wood', kayuh unun 
sigup 'tobacco cure wood', and akau unun sigup 'tobacco cure vine': descriptions 
rather than proper names (Berlin et al 1974:49-51). In some cases synonyms exist. 
For example, the weed Sciaphila is commonly known as penawar racun 'poison 
cure', but the name piurag is also used by some informants. Similarly, akau unun 
sigup may refer to the plant known as akau kapal (Luvunga sp.). 

A small fraction of plants were identified below the basic naming level. As can 
be seen in Table 3, 152-170 named folk categories were identified in each of the 
surveys, but 17-28 of these are classified below the basic level. For example, two 
kinds of jimpalang were identified in plot 2 by Umpoh: 'small-leafed' (Vitex vestita 
Wall., Verbenaceae) and 'large-leafed' (Barringtonia lanceolata [Ridley] Payens, 
Lecythidaceae). Umpoh also found three kinds of benawar in the same plot: 'red' 
benawar, 'white' benawar, and 'hill' benawar. Of the 158 categories he named in 
this plot, only 132 different basic categories are indicated. This corresponds well 
to the results of the inventory made by Gumpol of an adjacent quadrat of plot 2, in 
which 156 categories were identified, including 139 basic categories. In all cases, 
about 12% of all categories are below the basic naming level. 

This figure is somewhat less than the 18-20% of polytypic generic taxa in folk 
biological classification estimated by Berlin (1992:123) for horticultural peoples. 
Our lower proportion of polytypic to monotypic taxa may be explained by the fact 
that the areas surveyed were all untreated, and thus were not subject to recent 
human interference. Although the surveyed grounds contained plants that may 
have been saved from previous destruction in shifting cultivation, they contained 
no deliberately planted species. According to Berlin, it is these managed species 
that are particularly prone to polytypy. Thus, our quadrat studies do not reflect 
the full compass of Dusun ethnobotanical classificatory knowledge. 



86 BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN Vol. 17, No.l 



The most differentiated basic category is that labelled ubor, referring to a num- 
ber of Eugenia and Syzigium species (Myrtaceae). 12 In all, 12 kinds of ubor were 
identified by the two informants in the surveys, the unmarked reference type (ubor), 
plus 11 contrasting marked subcategories. 

The differences between the two informants are instructive. Umpoh, who was 
also the main informant used in the voucher collection phase of the study, was 
meticulously thorough in counting plants, which partly explains why he counted 
almost five times as many plants in plot 2, and 2.9 times as many plants in plot 1, 
as Gumpol, despite the fact that he surveyed areas only twice as large in both 
cases. Greater densities of plants classified as "large" are also found in Umpoh's 
surveys, particularly for plot 2. But a slightly higher fraction of plants are catego- 
rized as large in both of Gumpol's surveys than in Umpoh's. 

Umpoh was unable to identify a large number of plants, particularly those he 
categorized as usak 'flower', suggesting that he was using this term in a residual 
sense (Hunn 1977:57-58; Hunn 1982:834-835; Taylor 1990:64-65; Ellen 1993:83). As 
can be seen from Table 4, he found 113 unknown usak in Plot 1 plus two for which 
he had forgotten the names, and 35 unknown usak in plot 2. Gumpol, on the other 
hand, identified no plants in either patch he surveyed as unknown or forgotten 
usak. In the other plant categories, too, the greater breadth of Gumpol's knowl- 
edge compared with Umpoh's is evident, though, as noted, Umpoh appears to 
have been more thorough in counting plants, and this may account, in part, for the 
discrepancy. Moreover, very few Dusun individuals could recognize as many plants 
as Umpoh, and those who did lacked the stamina, patience, or eyesight needed to 
undertake the strenuous and tedious work of surveying the plots. Umpoh, who 
provided basic names for 86 to 88% of plants, can be said to be about 90% as com- 
petent in terms of supplying names as Gumpol. 13 His rate of failure to identify 
plants by basic names was three times as great as Gumpol's. However, it cannot be 
automatically concluded that these measures reflect their overall ethnobotanical 
knowledge. 



PLACING VALUE ON FOREST 

One of the factors which initially drew us towards the use of plot surveys was 
the debate on the valuation of tropical rainforest, and of attempts to place values 
on specific delineated patches (Peters, Gentry, and Mendelsohn 1989). 

Let us turn now to the makeup of the areas surveyed in terms of the useful- 
ness of plants identified. 14 We have already noted that the admittedly crude 
category of "large plants" (mainly mature trees) corresponds approximately to 
those regarded by our informants as useful in their observed state. In other words, 
immature plants are less useful than mature plants. By looking, therefore, at the 
figures for "large" plants compared to those for all plants assessed in the study, 
we can see what trees and other plants are of use at the present time or at some 
time in the future, and in what numbers. It was interesting to discover that the 
number of such plants in proportion to the total number of plants in the gapu' 
'recent secondary growth' plots was about double that in the entalun 'old second- 
ary growth' plots. The informants found 10.2% and 7.6% "large" plants in the 
entalun survey, but 17.7% and 16.3% in the gapu' survey. These findings are par- 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



87 



ticularly striking, in the context of the debate on the valuation of tropical rainforests 
(Peters, Gentry, and Mendelsohn 1989), because they are the opposite of what we 
might have expected, namely that older forest contains a higher density of larger, 
and therefore more useful, trees. 

Some variation between the plots can be seen in Table 5, in which the five 
most commonly named plants in one informant's surveys are ranked and keyed 
against the ranking (in parentheses) of that same plant in the other informant's 
survey for the same plot. While the rankings within plots 1 and 2 for the total 
number of plants are very similar for both informants, there is quite a divergence 
in the rankings for large plants. In part, this may be explained by Umpoh's inabil- 
ity to provide many basic names, especially for small plants. 



TABLE 5. — Ranking and use of the five most common plants: Old forest and sec- 
ondary forest compared. 

Plot 1, Gapu' '20-year regrowth' survey, ranked according to Umpoh's survey, all plants. 



Rank 



1 



2 



3 



4 

5 



Name 



i avoir 



lamb a 



julok 



Identification 

Fordida 

splendidissima 
Curculigo 

villosa 
Lepisantes 

fruticosa 
Ficus uncinata 



leginit 
lalet tnanuk Leptonychia 

heteroclita 



Frequency Frequency 



— Umpoh 



— Gumpol 



Uses 



267 



140(1) 



firewood, medicinal, 
calendrical 



252 



uncounted vegetable 



195 



77(3) 



114 
89 



52(4) 
79(2) 



edible fruit and 

leaves 
edible fruit 
medicinal leaves 



Plot 1, Gapu' '20-year regrowth' survey, ranked according to Umpoh's survey large 
plants only. 



Rank 



1 



2 
3 
4 



4 



Name 



Identification 



uzvai selika Korthalsia jala 



leginit 
pawu 



Ficus uncinata 
Euodia 



tembagan Artocarpus 



benaiva 
bukid 



elasticus 
Pternandra 



Frequency Frequency 



— Umpoh 



35 



30 
26 

22 



22 



Gumpol 



1(31) 



10(3) 

8(5) 

2(19) 



10(3) 



Uses 



frame for carrying 
basket 
edible fruit 
none 
bark for straps 



firewood 



88 



BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



X ± V L/ L-j 1 J c/ • Vi— v_/ l I til 1 

Plot 2, Entalun 'old 


secondary growth' 


survey, ranked according to 


Gumpol's survey, all 


plants. 


















Frequency 


Frequency 




Rank 


Name 


Identification 


— Umpoh 


— Gumpol 


Uses 


1 


raivir 


Fordida 
splendidissima 


241(3) 


141 


firewood, medicinal, 
calendrical 


2 


julok 


Lepisantes 
fruticosa 


396(2) 


67 


edible fruit and 
leaves 


3 


nbor 


Syzygium or 
Eugenia 


897(1) 


66 


dye for fish net 


4 


uwai buluh 
giok 


i Calamus 
sarawakensis 


181(4) 


49 


tying 


5 


tisil 


Urophyllum 


90(11) 


44 


none except 
firewood 


Plot 2, Entalun 'old 


secondary growth' 


survey, ranked according tc 


) Gumpol's survey, 


large plants only. 
















Frequency 


Frequency 




Rank 


Name 


Identification 


— Umpoh 


— Gumpol 


Uses 


1 


tawir 


Fordida 


27(2) 


18 


firewood, medicinal, 






splendidissima 






calendrical 


2 


royon 


(unidentified) 


9(8) 


12 


house frames 


3 


tisil 


Urophyllum 


3(27) 


11 


none except 
firewood 


4 


libas 
ropungur 


Sauropus? 


29(1) 


10 


firewood, 
houseposts 


4 


sarapa' 


(unidentified) 


12(5) 


10 


eaten with Piper 
beetle 



We will concentrate further on the five most common plants in Umpoh's Plot 
2 surveys and Gumpol's Plot 1 survey, shown in Table 5. By considering only the 
five most common plants in each group it is possible to capture a surprisingly 
high percentage of plants in the plots as a whole. In both plots 1 and 2, the five 
most prevalent plant names account for slightly more than 30% of all plants. The 
frequencies for the 25 most commonly occurring plant categories in the two plots, 
illustrated in the histograms in Figures 4 and 5, show reverse J-curves represent- 
ing the pronounced fall-off from initial hieh freauencies. 



When 



// 



large 



// 



more variation. In 



plot, 28.4% of large plants in the area surveyed (37.6% of those identified) by Umpoh 
were in the top five, compared to 36.0% in the area surveyed and identified by 
Gumpol. Turning to Gumpol's survey of plot 2, the five most common large plants 
totalled 61, accounting for over 53% of all large plants (56.5% of identified plants) 
counted in the survey. In Umpoh's plot 2 survey, by comparison, the first five 
named plants 15 totalled 117, and accounted for only 29.4% of large plants enumer- 



// 



unknown 



// 



and " unknown 



Umpoh in that plot. It must 



// 



account 



Umpoh in plot 2, and kayuh and akau for which basic names 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 89 



FIGURE 4.— Frequency of the 25 FIGURE 5.— Frequency of the 25 most 

most common identified plants in common identified plants in Gumpol's 

Umpoh's plot 1 (Gapu') survey plot 2 (Entalun) survey 



250 



125 



200 



100 



150 



75 



100 



50 




50 



25 




1 1 1 1 1 1 1 II II 



I 



been forgotten account for another 3.0%. Apart from the high proportion of large 
plants in Gumpol's plot 2 survey, the figures are quite consistent with the gener- 
alization that the five most common plant categories, regardless of size, account 



more of the plants in a plot. This observat 



em 



The inverse of this findine is that a large number 



in a plot. In Gumpol 



named 



two. The total kinds of plants represented by only one or two individuals (83), 

>out half the number of named categories found in the survey (83/156 = 0.54). 

relationship holds in Umpoh's survey of plot 1, in which 49 named categories 



(70/170 



twice, which 

survey. 



in 



surveys under inspection, increasing numbers 



by ever fewer individuals. 

As far as the most inclusive categories are concerned, Table 5 shows that tree 
(kayuh) is the most common, as in the ethnobotanical voucher data. However, 
rattan (uwai) is the fourth most common plant in Gumpol's plot 2 survey and the 
most common large plant in Umpoh's plot 1 survey. Lamba, which is classified in 
the problematical categories sancam (vegetable) and raun (leaf), is the second most 
common plant in Umpoh's plot 1 survey. Also, among those plants not in the first 
five most common categories, many non-kayuh plants feature. For example, in 
Gumpol's survey of plot 2, the top fifteen plants identified at the basic level in- 
clude three akau and three uwai; Umpoh's survey of plot 1 includes in the top 
fifteen three akau and one uwai. 



90 



BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



N 

u 

m 
b 

e 
r 



o 

f 



C 

a 

t 
e 

g 

o 

r 

i 

e 

s 



FIGURE 6. — Number of named plant categories 
occurring in low frequencies in two plots 




48 



36 



24 



12 













1 



2 



3 



4 



5 



6 



7 



8 



9 



10 



Frequency of Plants in a Category 




Umpoh's Plot 1 (Gapu) Survey 




= Gumpol's Plot 2 (Entalun) Survey 



Let us now consider the use-values of the five most common plants in all cat- 
egories. Table 5 indicates a range of uses mentioned for each plant, but none of the 
first five most common plants are especially valued, using any measure. Two ex- 
ceptions are uwai selika (Korthalsia ferox Becc), a useful rattan cord, though not 
regarded as the best, and royon (unidentified), a preferred wood for house con- 
struction. The other plants are of less value, some much less. For example, while it 
is true that the fruit of the leginit (Ficus uncinata [King] Becc.) tree is edible, it is not 
especially collectable or marketable. Similarly the root of the tawir tree (Fordia 
splendidissima [Miq.] Buijsen) is medicinal, but very few people know of this use or 
would make or use a medicine from it if they did. And while sarapa (unidenti- 
fied) is an important ingredient in the betel quid and is thus useful for habitual 
betel chewers, the tree is common and not highly valued. Many valuable fruit 
trees, hardwoods, and other economic products are found in small numbers within 
the small patches we surveyed. 

The clearest finding concerning the value of the entalun patch is the high num- 
ber of economically useful royon trees in proportion to their total number in the 
patch (12 of 13), while the useful rattan uwai buluh giok (Calamus sarawakensis 
Becc.) is found in high absolute numbers (49), though only two, or four percent, 
were of sufficient maturity to be worth extracting. In the gapu' survey we find 
large numbers of the edible but not highly valued lamba (Curculigio villosa [Kurz] 
Merrill). Among the harvestable plants in this natch arp 35 valnpH umai *plika 



Summer 1997 JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 91 



rattans (Korthalsia ferox Becc). Both plots are characterized by an abundance of 
tawir (Fordia splendidissima [Miq.] Buijsen) and jul ok (Lepisantes friiticosa [Roxb.] 



Leenh.) trees. 



CONCLUSION 



in 



in rainforest research for more 



technique 



veys to measure the ethnobotanical knowledge individual informants have of 
particular patches of forest. 

By using the plot method Bernstein and Antaran were able to measure the 
completeness of their herbarium collection, and supplement the database with 
information on 132 kinds of plants that had not been otherwise collected, but which 
had been identified bv informants in the survevs. In most cases the plants matched 



specimens 



specimens 



would not anyway have provided firm determinations.) The same technique also 
provides a rapid means of assessing local ecological diversity using folk terms 
keyed to determinations obtained through the systematic collection of voucher 
specimens. Of course, folk-botanical nomenclature does not correspond perfectly 
with scientific determinations, and informants cannot always provide names and 
may be inconsistent or wrong in their judgment. Nevertheless, such a method is 
less time-consuming than the possible alternatives, and is sufficiently precise for 
many useful applications. It might well complement other participatory rural ap- 
praisal (PRA) and rapid rural appraisal (RRA) techniques. 

Our principal discovery, however, has been the utility of plot surveys as an 
instrument for the study of ethnobotanical classification. Knowledgeable but non- 
literate Dusun informants provided names (other than life-forms or the most 
general basic and intermediate categories) for 85.6-96.4% of plants growing in 
marked plots. Of those plants named, the more expert of our two informants pro- 
vided 158 names in two plots (each 24x24 m) of secondary dipterocarp forest 
totalling 1152 m 2 , 88% of the names being at the basic naming level and 12% be- 
low. Furthermore, informants found little difficulty in allocating both named and 
un-named olants to more-inclusive, life-form-like and intermediate groupings. The 



numbers 



counted. We 



most common 



categories of plants account for about a third of all enumerated plants. Plants oc- 
curring only once or twice in a plot account for about half of all named plants. 

Although our survey dataset is small, we believe it indicates a new way of 
measuring the comprehensiveness of local knowledge of plants with reference to 
all types found within the boundaries of specified sample plots in locally recog- 
nized biotopes, and provides a useful angle on the question of the empirical 
adequacy" of such knowledge when compared with existing measures, such as 
hat based on the correspondence of folk categories to scientific species. The sur- 
eys also reveal the breadth of biodiversity knowledge of particular types of forest, 



// 



92 BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN Vol. 17, No.l 



in the knowledge of individual informants 



which that knowledge is organize 
ter of indigenous knowledge di< 
patchiness of species distribution 



NOTES 



J For a classic statement on method see Berlin, Breedlove, and Raven 1974:46-61. For older 
accounts of conventional ethnobotanical collecting techniques, see e.g., Barrau n.d.; Parham 
1955. Since this research was completed, information on the methodology of ethnobotani- 
cal studies has been synthesized and substantially updated by the publication of a meth- 
ods manual by Martin (1995). 

2 See Peranio (1972, 1976, 1977). The Brunei Dusun are distinct from another ethnic grouping, 
indigenous to Sabah (another part of northern Borneo), also known as Dusun (see Appell 1978; 
Appell and Harrison 1968). The dialect spoken by the Dusun of Kuala Penyu in Sabah is very 
close to Bisaya (Roger Peranio, personal communication). While similarities in ritual and folk- 
lore suggests a relationship between the "Dusunic peoples" of Sabah and the Brunei Dusun, 
the exact nature of the connection between them has not been demonstrated. 

3 See Cranbrook and Edwards (1994) for a report on an interdisciplinary study of the 
rainforest in the Batu Apoi Forest Reserve at Kuala Belalong in Brunei. 

4 For an excellent summary of recent use of plot surveys in ethnobotany and for a discussion of 



techniques published since we conducted our own studv see Martin 



5This 



of clays and loams, sand, and gravelstone sometimes overlain by swamps (Franz 1980:34- 
35; Wilford 19611 r 



Mendelsohn 



while Peters, Gentry, and Mendelsohn (1989) undertook a systematic botanical inventory 



of 1 .0 ha of forest 



— r — "--■ — ""'& " i m^ciiuuiucis in some surveys, ana 

include natu gapu (Araceae) and akau genonop (Jacquemontia tomentella). 



counted 



SQur 



informants recognized 



two 



on discrepancies in the identification of plants collected as herbarium specimens. 



9 Ellen 



u^usi. uuu, «uan ciass inclusion, the distinction is one recognized in many languages 
and, pragmatically, by local experts. Thus, an informant may "know" that a certain plant is 
a distinctive "kind of" akau (classification) yet be unable to provide a label or relate it to 
something identical he or she has seen (identification). 

»°A possible explanation for this phenomenon is that tumid is a polysemous term referring 

to taxa at twn lmrolc n( in^i„r;„ — * -i <• ... - J 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



93 



sagang, and sumbang and tutnid 2 refers more specifically to plants contrasting with kunyit, 
sagang, and sumbang, within this category. The alternative explanation is that the term for 
one sub-category of ginger plants is used casually to label various other kinds of gingers in 
the absence of a fully acceptable overall cover term. 



11 Both Hunn (198 
within life-forms. 



"empty" spaces 



n Syzigium is often included within Eugenia, but this is a point on which taxonomists differ, 
and "the differences between Syzigium and Eugenia are obscure" (Forest Department 
1978:174). 



13 In plot 1, Umpoh identified 85.6% as against Gumpol's 96.4%: 0.856 -=- 0.964 = 0.888. For 
plot 2, Umpoh identified 86.9%, as against Gumpol's 95.4%: 0.869 -r 0.954 = 0.911. 

14 Voeks (1994) describes a use of the plot survey method to elicit information specifically 
about the utility of rainforest plants among settled Penan (former subsistence hunter gath- 
erers) in Brunei. Voeks' 44 year-old Penan informant recognized a total of 53 useful species 
in a 0.96 ha mixed dipterocarp plot, out of about 300 species of trees over 5 cm dbh. 

15 Libas gapunguh (29), tawir (27), ubor (25), semerutu (24), and teratus (12). 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



The research reported here was undertaken as part of a project entitled "The Ecology 



and EthnobioWv of Human-rainforest Interaction in Brunei 



funded 



and Social Research Council (R000 23 3088), with additional support from the British Acad- 
emy and the British Council. We would like to thank the Brunei Forestry Centre, the Royal 
Botanic Gardens at Kew (particularly Dr. John Dransfield), the Tutong District Office, and 
the people of Kampong Merimbun for their cooperation. 

An earlier version of this paper, entitled "Rainforest Ethno-ecology of the Brunei 
Dusun," was presented by J. H. Bernstein at a conference on "The Environment in South- 
east Asia" held at the Royal Holloway College by the Association of South-East Asian 
Studies in the United Kingdom, March 1994. We thank Dr. Robert Voeks for his extensive 
and very helpful comments on an earlier draft, and the editor and reviewers of this journal 

for their suggestions for revision. 



LITERATURE CITED 



ANTARAN, BANTONG BIN. 1993. The 
Brunei Dusun: an ethnographic study. 
M.Phil, thesis (South-East Asian 

Studies), University of Hull. 
APPELL, G. N. 1978. The Rungus of Sabah, 
Malaysia. In Essays on Borneo Societies, 
Victor T. King (editor). Hull 
Monographs on South-East Asia, No. 7. 
Oxford University Press, Oxford. 



HARRISON 



Ethnographic profiles of the Dusun 
speaking peoples of Sabah, Malaysia. 
Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society 41:131-147. 
ASHTON, PETER S. 1964. Ecological 
Studies in the Mixed Dipterocarp 
Forests of Brunei State. Oxford Forestry 
Memoirs No. 25. Clarendon Press, 
Oxford. 



94 



BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



ATRAN, SCOTT. 1990. The Cognitive 
Foundations of Natural History: 
Towards an Anthropology of Science. 



and ROY ELLEN. In press. 

Licuala palms in Brunei Dusun 
ethnobotany. Brunei Museum Journal. 



Cambridge University Press, BOOM, BRIAN M. 1987. Ethnobotany of the 



Cambridge. 
BALEE, WILLIAM. 1986. Analise 
preliminor de inventario florestale a 
etnobotanica Ka'apor (Maranhao). 
Boletin do Museu Paraense Emilio 
Goeldi, Botanica 2:141-167. 

A etnobotanica 



Chacabo Indians, Beri, Bolivia. 
Advances in Economic Botany 4:1-68. 
BOSTER, JAMES SHILTS. 1980. How the 
exceptions prove the rule: An analysis 
of informant disagreement in Aguaruna 
manioc identification. Ph.D. dissertation 



1987. 



quantitativa dos Indios Tembe (Rio 

.^^^» & k _ _ 



M 

Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Botanica 3:29- 
50. 

BALICK, MICHAEL J. and ROBERT 
MENDELSOHN. 1992. Assessing the 
economic value of traditional medicines 
from tropical rainforests. Conservation 



(Anthropology), University 
California, Berkeley. 



of 



1983. A comparison of the 

diversity of Jivaroan gardens with that 
of the tropical forest. Human Ecology 
11:47-68. 



Biology 6:128-130. 
BARRAU, JACQUES, 
ethnobotanical 



N.d. 



An 
for 



guide 

anthropological research in Malayo- 
Oceania (preliminary draft). UNESCO 
Science Cooperation Office for 
Southeast Asia. 



1984. Inferring decision making 

from behaviour: An analysis of 
Aguaruna Jivaro manioc selection. 
Human Ecology 12:347-358. 
1986. "Requiem for the 



omniscient informant": There's life in 
the old girl yet. Pp. 177-197 in Directions 
in Cognitive Anthropology, J. W. D. 
Dougherty (editor). University of 
Illinois Press, Urbana. 
BENNETT, B. C. 1992. Plants and people of BRUNEI. 1984. Brunei Forest Resources and 



the Amazonian rainforests. Bioscience 
42:599-607. 

BERLIN, BRENT. 1992. Ethnobiological 



Classification: 



Principles 



of 



Animals 



Traditional Societies. Princeton 
University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 

BERLIN, BRENT, DENNIS E. 
BREEDLOVE, and PETER H. RAVEN. 
1974. Principles of Tzeltal Plant 
Classification: An Introduction to the 
Botanical Ethnography of a Mayan- 
Speaking People of Highland Chiapas. 
Academic Press, New York. 

BERNSTEIN, JAY H. 1996. Higher-order 



Brunei 



Dusun 



categories in 
ethnobotany: the folk classification of 
rainforest plants. Pp. 435-450 in Tropical 
Rainforest Research: Current Issues, 
D.S. Edwards, W. E. Booth, and S. C. 
Choy (editors). Kluwer Academic 
Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands. 

In press. The deculturation of the 

Brunei Dusun. In Politics, Land and 
Ethnicity in the Malayan Peninsula and 
Borneo: Indigenous Peoples and the 
State, R. L. Winzeler (editor). Yale 
University Monographs on Southeast 
Asia, New Haven, Connecticut. 



Strategic Planning Study, Forest-Type 
map. Sheet 4. Anderson and Marsden, 

Singapore. 

CONKLIN, HAROLD C. 1957. Hanunoo 
Agriculture, A Report on an Integral 
System of Shifting Cultivation in the 
Philippines. Food and Agricultural 
Organization of the United Nations, 
Rome. 

CRANBROOK, EARL OF and DAVID S 
EDWARDS. 1994. Belalong: A Tropical 
Rainforest. Royal Geographical Society, 
London, and Sun Tree Publishing, 
Singapore. 

DOUGHERTY, JANET. 1979. Learning 
names for plants and plants for names. 
Anthropological Linguistics 21:298-315. 

ELLEN, ROY F. 1979. Omnicience and 
ignorance: Variation in Nuaulu 
knowledge, identification and 
classification of animals. Language in 
Society 8:337-364. 

1993. The Cultural Relations of 

Classification: An Analysis of Nuaulu 
Animal Categories From Central Seram. 
Cambridge University Press, 
Cambridge. 

. In press. Modes of subsistence 



and ethnobiological knowledge: 



Summer 1997 



JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY 



95 



between extraction and cultivation in 
Southeast Asia. In Folk Biology, D. L. 
Medin and Scott Atran (editors). MIT 
Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

ELLEN, ROY and BERNSTEIN, JAY. 1994. 
Urbs in rure: Cultural transformations 
of the rainforest in modern Brunei. 
Anthropology Today 10(4):16-19. 

FORESTRY DEPARTMENT. 1978. Tree 
Flora of Malaya: A Manual for Foresters, 
Vol. 3. Longmans, London. 

FRANZ, JOHANNES C. 1980. The 
Sultanate of Brunei: Oil Wealth and 
Problems of Development, translated by 
M. Schmitz and A. Sharp. Nuernberger 
Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeographische 
Arbeiten, Vol. 32. Wirtschafts-und 
Sozialgeographisches Institut de 
Friederich-Alexander-Universitaet, 

Nuernberg. 
HAYS, TERENCE E. 1974. Mauna: 
Explorations in Ndumba ethnobotany. 
Ph.D. dissertation (Anthropology), 
University of Washington, Seattle. 



1976. The Bisaya of northern 

Borneo. Pp. 27-103 in Insular Southeast 
Asia: Ethnographic Studies, Section 3: 



M 



man 



New Haven, Connecticut. 



. 1977. The structure of Bisaya 
society: A ranked cognatic social system. 
Ph.D. thesis (Anthropology), Columbia 

University. 



GENTRY, 



and 



[., ALWYN 
ROBERT 



O. 



MENDELSOHN. 1989. Valuation of an 
Amazonian rainforest. Nature 339:655- 

656. 

TT.l IPS. O. and A.H. GENTRY 1993a. The 



w 

useful plants of Tambopata, Peru I: 
Statistical hypotheses tests with a new 
quantitative technique. Economic 
Botany 47:15-32. 

1993b. The useful plants of 

Tambopata, Peru II: Additional 

hypothesis testing in quantitative 

ethnobotany. Economic Botany 47:33-43. 

HUNN, EUGENE S. 1977. Tzeltal Folk POULSEN, AXEL D. 1996. The herbaceous 

ground flora of the Batu Apoi Forest 



Zoology: The Classification of 
Discontinuities in Nature. Academic 
Press, New York. 
1982. The utilitarian factor in folk 



Reserve 



in Tropical Rainforest Research: Current 



W. 



biological classification. American 
Anthropologist 84:830-847. 

JOHNSON, ALLEN. 1983. Machiguengua 
gardens. Pp. 29-63 in Adaptive 
Responses of Native Amazonians, R. B. 
Hames and W. T. Vickers (editors). 
Academic Press, New York. 

KERSHAW, EVA MARIA. 1994. Final shifts: 
Some why's and how's of Brunei Dusun 
convergence on Malay. Pp. 179-194 in 
Shifting Patterns of Language Use in 
Borneo, P. W. Martin (editor). Borneo 
Research Council, Williamsburg. 

MARTIN, GARY J. 1995. Ethnobotany: A 
Methods Manual. Chapman and Hall, 

London. 
ODUM, EUGENE P. 1971. Ecology. Holt, 

Rinehart and Winston, London. 
PARHAM, J. W. 1955. The collection of plant 

specimens. Agricultural Journal 

(Colony of Fiji) 26:9-13. 
PERANIO, ROGER. 1972. Bisaya. In Ethnic 

Groups of Southeast Asia. Vol. 1: 

Indonesia, Andaman Islands and 

Madagascar, F. M. LeBar (editor). 

Human Relations Area Files, New 

Haven, Connecticut. 



S. C. Choy (editors). Kluwer Academic 
Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands. 
ULSEN, AXEL D., IVAN C. NIELSEN, 
SYLVESTER TAN, and HENRIK 
BALSLEV. 1996. A quantitative 



one 



mixed 



Brunei Darussalam. Pp. 139-150 in 
Tropical Rainforest Research: Current 
Issues, D.S. Edwards, W. E. Booth, and 
S. C. Choy (editors). Kluwer Academic 
Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands. 
PUKUL, HASSAN and PETER S. ASHTON. 
1964. A Checklist of Brunei Trees. 



Brunei 



W 



studies on the rainforest of Southern 
Nigeria: The structure and floristic 
composition of the primary forest. 

Journal of Ecology 27:1-61. 

1952. The Tropical Rain Forest: 

An Ecological Study. Cambridge 
University Press, Cambridge. 

. A. G. TANSLEY, and A. S. WATT. 



The 



form and flora of tropical forest 
communities as a basis for their 



96 



BERNSTEIN, ELLEN, and ANTARAN 



Vol. 17, No.l 



239. 



Journal 



ROMNEY, A. KIMBALL, SUSAN C. 



WELLER 



and 



WILLIAM 



H. 

as 



BATCHELDER. 1986. Culture 
consensus: A theory of culture and 



informant 



accuracy. American 



Anthropologist 88:313-338. 

STROSS, BRIAN. 1973. Acquisition of 

botanical terminology by Tzeltal 

children. Pp.107-140 in Meaning in 



M 



(editor). Mouton, The Hague. 
TANSLEY, A. G. 1923. Practical Plant 
Ecology. George Allen and Unwin, 
London. 

and T. F. CHIPP 1926. Aims and 



Methods in the Study of Vegetation. The 

British Empire Vegetation Committee, 
London. 

TAYLOR, PAUL MICHAEL. 1990. The Folk 
Biology of the Tobelo People: A Study 
in Folk Classification. Smithsonian 



Contributions to Anthropoloj 

Smithsonian Institution 
Washingt 



Press, 



TURNER, NANCY J. 1974. Plant taxonomic 
systems and ethnobotany of three 
contemporary Indian groups of the Pacific 
Northwest (Haida, Bella Coola, and 
Lillooet). Syesis 7, Supplement No 1 



VICKERS, WILLIAM T. 1983. Tropical forest 
mimicry in swiddens: A reassessment of 
Geertz's model with Amazonian data. 
Human Ecology 11:35-46. 

VOEKS, ROBERT A. 1994. Useful plants of 
the Penan: a quantitative comparison of 
hunter-gatherer and swidden-cultivator 
ethnobotanical perception. Paper 
presented at the Third International 
Conference on Geography of the 
ASEAN Region, University of Malaya, 
Kuala Lumpur. 

WHITMORE, TIMOTHY C. 1990. An 
Introduction to Tropical Rain Forests. 
Clarendon Press, Oxford. 

WILFORD, G. E. 1961. The geology and 
mineral resources of Brunei and 
adjacent parts of Sarawak with 
descriptions of Seria and Miri oilfields. 
Brunei Geological Survey Department 



Memoir 



10. Government Printing 



Office, Kuala Belait. 
ZENT, STANFORD. 1994. The quandary of 
conserving ethnoecological knowledge: 
A Piaroa example. Paper presented at 
the 93rd Annual Meeting of the 
American Anthropological Association, 
Atlanta, Georgia. 



Journal of Ethnobiology 17(1):97-108 



Summer 1997 



IMPORTANCE OF PLANTS IN THE CH'A CHAAK MAYA 

RITUAL IN THE PENINSULA OF YUCATAN 



JOSE SALVADOR FLORES AND JESUS KANTUN B ALAM 

Departamento de Biologia, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia 

Universidad Autdnoma de Yucatan 
A.P. 4-116 Jtzimna, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 

ABSTRACT. — This study was carried out in the Mayan farming area in the state 



Mayan 



// 



rain call- 



ing," were attended. Thirty-eight plant species were used during these rituals, 
which lasted four to seven days each. A high percentage (63%) of these plants are 
symbolically related to rain. Many are succulents. Eleven of the twelve rituals 
that we attended were followed by rain. Of the 38 plants used in the ch'a chaak, 
33 are native, only five having been introduced since the arrival of the European 

:alculated an elaborated index of cultural "purity" for these ritu- 



We 



knowledge 



have of their environment, thus preserving this valuable knowledge is important. 

RESUMEN — El estudio de la ceremonia maya del ch'a chaak (que significa el 
llamado de la lluvia) se realizo en el area maya milpera en el estado de Yucatan. 



durante 



una 



formas. Un alto porcentaje (63%) de estas plantas estan relacionadas con la lluvia, 
segun la creencia de los milperos; algunas de ellas son suculentas indicadoras de 
humedad, lo cual le da efectividad a sus rezos. De las doce ocasiones que asistimos 
al rito de invocacion a la lluvia, once de ellas fueron efectivas. El rito en si conserva 



una 



y solo cinco han sido introducidas a partir de la llegada de los europeos. El 
porcentaje de pureza se calculo en base a un indice de relacion; el resultado fue de 
87% de pureza, lo cual refleja el hecho que casi todas las plantas empleadas en el 
ch'a chaak son nativas del area. El rito encierra el conocimiento total que la cultura 
maya tiene de su medio ambiente; conservarlo es importante, ya que es un 
conocimiento cultural valioso. 

RESUME .— Cette etude a ete realisee dans une region agricole maya de l'Etat de 
Yucatan au Mexique ou nous avons assiste a douze rituels de pluie (ch'a chaak, 
litteralement « appel a la pluie »). Trente-huit especes vegetales ont ete utilisees 
durant ces ceremonies qui duraient de quatre a sept jours chacune. Un pourcentage 
eleve (63%) de ces plantes est lie symboliquement a la pluie et plusieurs plantes 
ont, de facon caracteristique, des tissus gonflees de substances liquides. Onze des 
douze rituels auxquels nous avons participe ont ete suivis de pluie. Trente-trois 
des trente-huit plantes utilisees sont indigenes et cinq seulement ont ete introduites 
apres l'arrivee des conquerants europeens. Le degre de « purete » culturelle de ce 
rituel a ete evalue a 87 % selon une methode de calcul elaboree. Ce ntuel met a 
contribution la connaissance culturelle totale maya de l'environnement et la 
sanvperarHp Hp rp savnir dp orande valeur en est d'autant plus importante. 



98 



SALVADO